It’s no doubt that online consumers have become more demanding in terms of what they expect from their e-Commerce experience. And with billions of websites in existence, it’s more important than ever to have a website that performs to its best.

Google’s research finds that as page load time goes down for example, bounce rate goes up. If your website takes up to six seconds to load, the probability of users leaving a site immediately increases by 106%. 

e-Commerce is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in South Africa where it is just starting to become mainstream. Now, more than ever your website’s performance, whether you have 10 or 100 products, must be at its best. 

Whether your website is brand new or has some history and could do with improvement, we’ve got five simple tips to help you get the most out of your website’s performance.

Simple navigation

A rather simple tip, but one that many often don’t get quite right. A basic navigation menu that offers users everything they’re looking for is the first step to a user’s best experience. The easier they can find your products or services, the more likely they are to stick around and become a customer, and more likely to return.

Navigate your website as a user would, and consider whether you’ve presented all the most important business details as easily as possible. 

Choose robust website infrastructure

Your web hosting provider can make a positive difference in your website’s performance, particularly during busy seasons. During high-traffic and high-transaction periods, a robust web hosting provider will provide your website with the ability to manage a high amount of traffic, an SSL and firewall for online security, and a high-performance server that will allow your website to load in just seconds.

If you are currently using shared web hosting, and your website speed is not up to scratch, then it’s time to consider a dedicated server. A server with resources dedicated entirely to your website, will meet your rising traffic and transactional needs.

Optimise images

Images take up a fair amount of your website’s allotted space. And high quality images generally are bigger in size. It’s a bit of a catch22, you want quality images, but the more you have, the less storage space your website has and the slower your website becomes.

Luckily, there’s a workaround. You can compress your images using a simple software, such as TinyPNG to make sure your images don’t slow your website down.

Choose responsive design

With South Africa being a mobile first nation, it’s vital that your website works optimally on all mobile devices. The simplest way to do this is to choose a responsive design, so that your website automatically adjusts to the device users’ are browsing on. 

The last thing a customer wants is to have to resize content and images themselves when landing on a website, just to navigate it.

Use a high quality site search

A website’s search functionality is highly useful to all those browsers looking for a specific product. However, many website’s search functionalities offer a subpar feature that returns generalised items irrelevant to the user’s search.

While many e-Commerce platforms offer a basic search feature, It’s worthwhile to invest in a quality, advanced search functionality to improve user experience.

While there are thousands of ways to improve your website’s performance, these are the basics to ensure you have in place.

In summary, there are five simple ways to improve your website’s performance:

  1. Implement a simple navigation menu
  2. Choose a robust web hosting provider
  3. Compress large, high-quality images
  4. Implement responsive design
  5. Use an advanced website search functionality