highway

Speed is key in the fight for dominance on the web. It affects everything, from customer satisfaction to discoverability: as an example of the latter, Google made speed a ranking factor for desktop searches back in 2010. This was extended to mobile searches in 2018. 

So if your doesn’t load quickly, it will fall behind in organic search rankings…regardless of how good or relevant your content might be. 

In contrast, if your competitors have lightning-fast sites they will have better rankings, more visibility, traffic, conversions and revenue. 

But there are other things to think about too: let’s take a look at what factors are involved when analysing B2B ecommerce performance. 

Winning the rankings race 

In some respects, your site is literally in a race for search rankings, but it’s also essential to deliver the best possible online experiences for your buyers.  

You will already be working hard on search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure your site gains its place on the first page of organic search results

Google’s own research shows however that over half of visitors will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load on their mobile device. Worse still, a one-second delay in load time could reduce conversions by 7%

You could find that your investment in search engine marketing (SEM) is completely undermined by the speed of your site. 

In contrast, ecommerce sites that optimize for speed see improvements in search engine results with organic traffic increasing by 30% or more. 

The need for speed 

Google announced that from May 2021 Core Web Vitals (CWV) will feature as ranking signals. They are designed to measure how users experience the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability of a web page. 

study from August 2020 found however that less than 15% of 2,500 key words and 20,000 URLs met the standard. 

There are speed-related factors in CWV: 

  • largest contentful paint: the time it takes for the page’s main content to load, which should be 2.5 seconds or less.  
  • first input delay: how long it takes for a page to become interactive, which should be less than 100ms. 

One option is to use accelerated mobile pages (AMP). Google has been promoting AMPs since 2015 to support fast loading times on mobile devices. For B2B ecommerce companies that rely on product descriptions, images, reviews and navigation, AMP can immediately deliver faster page speeds. 

The benefits of speed for your B2B ecommerce site 

Visibility Google is secretive about how search rankings are created, but it has been clear for some time that speed on mobile devices is a priority. More buyers are using mobile devices for research and purchasing, and this trend is changing the B2B purchasing process.  

If you can achieve the top spot in organic search results you can give your click-through rate (CTR) a boost of more than 20%.  

Costs A lot of investment in paid-for results would be needed to achieve a 20% uplift in your CTR, so it makes financial sense to focus on the speed of your site. Faster sites are also rewarded with a higher quality score for paid results, resulting in lower costs per click (CPC), so you could be saving money here too. 

Competitiveness Technologies such as single-page apps, progressive web apps and AMP can deliver very fast speeds, raising the bar that you and all your B2B ecommerce competitors must meet or beat. 

With technology moving ahead so quickly, today’s lightning-fast sites could become tomorrow’s sluggish relics. Maintaining a focus on your site speed, especially for mobile devices, will keep you in touch with the latest ecommerce developments and help to make sure you maintain your market position. 

Reputation Customer experience is a priority for B2B buyers. 86% of buyers say they are willing to pay more for an excellent customer experience. The more expensive the item, the more they are willing to pay, according to research from PWC

While the immediate risk of slow site performance can be a lower conversion rate, in the longer term it can negatively reflect on your brand image – something harder to recover. 

Choose a fast ecommerce platform

Cloudfy has been designed from the outset to meet the needs of contemporary B2B ecommerce. It is a software as a service (SaaS) solution, so you can be confident that it is fast, reliable and secure. As your business grows, your Cloudfy platform can grow with you, so you can always operate at peak performance. 

You don’t have to buy or maintain equipment, so you won’t have to worry about maintenance and upgrades to keep everything running smoothly. There are at least four major platform updates a year, delivered to you in the cloud without any downtime.  

You can be confident that your platform will always be at the forefront of the latest technical and best practice trends in ecommerce. 

To find out how to create and maintain an impressively fast ecommerce platform with us, talk to one of our experts today