3 Ways Your Ecom Store’s Page Load Speed Affects User Behavior

Irene Wanja Sep 13, 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Life is busy, and time is precious. Because of that, ecommerce consumers are often impatient when shopping online. They expect to be able to find what they want quickly and easily, and they may become frustrated if they have to search for too long or if they can’t find what they’re looking for. This impatience can lead to abandoned shopping carts and lost sales for ecom business owners. To combat this, store owners need to make sure their websites are easy to navigate, their product listings are clearly organized, and (most importantly) that their webpages load fast enough. Why? Because a slow-loading page affects visitor behavior tremendously

website visitor using a tablet to browse an ecom store

It’s important to understand that page load speed is affected by a variety of factors, including the size of your images, the number of JavaScript files your site uses, and the code used to build your site. That said, page load speed can affect a few major types of visitor behaviors on your store. Let’s take a look!

1. Bounce Rate

If you’ve ever waited impatiently for a website to load, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a study conducted by Kissmetrics, 40% of internet users will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Not only is this bad news for businesses that rely on their online stores for sales, but it also has a major impact on the store’s bounce rate.

In the ecom world, your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your store and then leave without taking any further action. A high bounce rate can be indicative of a number of problems, such as poor website design, slow loading times, or uninteresting content. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all bounces are bad. For example, if someone landed on your website looking for a specific product and then found what they were looking for right away, that would be considered a good bounce. In general, you want to aim for a bounce rate that’s somewhere around the industry average of 40-60%. If your bounce rate is significantly higher or lower than that, it’s worth looking into ways to improve your store. 

creative line graph showing decreasing percentage relating to the bounce rate

2. Page Views

The average online shopper views just over 2.5 pages. This number has been steadily declining in recent years, as shoppers have become savvier and more efficient at finding what they’re looking for. While this may seem like a small number, it’s actually quite significant when you consider the vastness of the internet. In other words, shoppers are narrowing their focus to just a few select stores that offer what they’re looking for—meaning that these stores are doing something right. So, what does it take to keep visitors engaged on your ecommerce site? A well-designed layout, helpful product descriptions, and clear calls to action are all important factors. But above all, it’s important to ensure that your site is easy to navigate and fast-loading. After all, no one likes to waste time online.

The time it takes for a website to load can have a significant impact on the number of pages a visitor views. Studies have shown that even a slight delay can cause users to lose interest and click away. For instance, if it takes two seconds for a page to load, users are likely to view an average of three pages. However, if the page takes four seconds to load, they are only likely to view one page. This is because users become impatient when they have to wait, and are more likely to give up and move on. As such, it is important to ensure that your ecom site is fast and responsive in order to keep visitors engaged.

creative visual of people using the website and its different settings and features

3. Trust and Purchase Power

Any business owner will tell you that generating leads is only half the battle. Once you’ve attracted visitors, the real challenge is converting them into paying customers. So, what makes your site’s visitors trust and purchase from you?

There are a few key things that can build trust with potential customers, such as displaying contact information prominently on your website, using positive customer reviews and testimonials, and offering a money-back guarantee. In addition, making the purchasing process as smooth and easy as possible will also help to increase conversion rates. Apart from creating a user-friendly checkout process, the loading time of your store also plays a vital part in increasing your customers’ trust and motivating them to make a purchase. When store pages take a long time to load, users often question if the business is legit, which obviously causes lower conversion rates. Not only that, but if you’re fortunate enough to somehow make the sale, a slow site can instill post-purchase doubts in their minds. And that’s never the feeling you want to leave your customers with.

creative visual of a shopper making a purchase online


A slow page load speed can have a significant negative impact on visitor behavior by causing a higher bounce rate, reducing your store’s page views, and affecting conversion rates. It’s a critical factor in determining whether or not potential customers will stick around or click away from your site. To ensure that your pages are loading quickly enough to keep visitors interested, be sure to optimize your ecommerce store to make it as fast as possible. Because the faster your store’s pages are, the better the chances that potential customers will remain engaged with it, trust your company … and ultimately buy from you!


2022. How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line. [ebook] kissmetrics. Available at: <https://blog.kissmetrics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/loading-time.pdf> [Accessed 12 September 2022].


About the author

Irene Wanja

Irene, a skilled Revenue Optimization Specialist for Build Grow Scale, combines an unparalleled focus on user research and a deep understanding of the ecommerce customer journey to orchestrate optimal shopping experiences. With an uncanny knack for detecting and addressing customer pain points through meticulous user testing, she utilizes tools such as moderated user tests, heatmaps, scrollmaps, and clickmaps to fast-track improvements in user experience and usability. Her keen eye for detail aids in swiftly spotting potential issues and implementing solutions, all while working closely with store owners and applying her intricate comprehension of user interactions. Passionate about software and technology, Irene immerses herself in enhancing her clients' business clarity, efficiency, and user satisfaction. Even though the value of user experience doesn't conform to a conventional numerical scale, the tangible outcomes of her work—improved user experience, amplified retention rates, and reduced customer support issues—are testaments to her prowess. Beyond her revenue optimization skills, Irene is a skilled writer and copywriter. She weaves her profound insights into engaging prose, crafting content that not only resonates with diverse audiences but also demystifies the complexities of user experience, consequently benefitting businesses worldwide.

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