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How To Increase Shopify Site Speed -Storefronts Optimization 101

Your Shopify site speed and sale performance, not to mention your brand image, might be severely damaged by a sudden influx of traffic or a rush of transactions and sales. But you can mitigate these unexpected surges. The longer you wait to optimize your site speed, the more clients you will lose to a competitor’s site.

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According to research conducted by Google, the longer it takes for a page to load, the higher the bounce rate. 

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In addition, Google shipped an update in May 2021 that prioritized more vital core web vitals (i.e., site performance) in its search results. For eCommerce sites, the stakes are higher than ever.

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Overview: Accelerating Shopify Storefronts

All aspects of commerce revolve around performance. Consider the most recent time you made a purchase: speed and accuracy are essential in every engagement you have as a customer.

For example, how fast is the checkout queue at the store, how fast can you obtain your package when you order it, and how fast can you find the right item in the store? What keeps folks at night at Shopify is brooding critically about maximizing performance for their merchants.

As they assisted more than 2 million businesses online, they made every effort to ensure everyone’s site speed remained as fast as possible.

They strive to ensure that every user, regardless of where they are browsing from and what device they use, has a fantastic, lightning-fast experience in every fashion. Why? Because of the site speed, Shopify businesses have a better chance of success.

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People witness this unfold tangibly every day. To provide a concrete illustration from the real world, the Shopify team collaborated with Sunday Citizen, a fourth-generation luxury textile manufacturer, to improve site speed to assist the latter in expanding their business.

Sunday Citizen has delivered a 6% increase in conversion and a 4% decrease in site bounce rates after making several rendering enhancements. Users were also about 4% more inclined to add products to the trolley, which led to extra selling opportunities. All of this came from making their site load faster for visitors.

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Time to First Byte

Performance is measured in many different ways since everything impacts performance, and there is no single factor that may make a website exceptionally quick.

Everything from the sort of JavaScript libraries you load to the types of media you provide affects the performance profile of your site. Time to first byte is one of the most critical metrics for Shopify as a commerce platform (TTFB).

TTFB is crucial since it indicates the baseline performance someone experiences while visiting a shop. Your site speed will undoubtedly be slower if TTFB is high, which indicates that it takes longer for Shopify to begin delivering back content.

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It’s also an element of the performance dilemma that Shopify handles on the merchant’s behalf, and they’ve spent years perfecting it.

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As technology evolves and the global patterns of commerce vary, we have to rethink the infrastructure and how to get even better at reducing TTFB. Three dimensions of Shopify’s infrastructure have been evolving over the past year:

  • Cutting down on the amount of time it takes for the app to generate a response
  • Cut back the time databases take to retrieve data
  • Reducing network transit time

They are looking at all these dimensions, but let’s focus on the first one for this discussion. The internet’s fiber uses the speed of light to transmit information. That sounds incredibly fast, but when considering the global distances, that’s slower than you would imagine.

For example, suppose a user from Germany accesses a site hosted in North America. In that case, it takes more than one hundred milliseconds for the request to travel across the network and arrive at the servers designed to answer that request.

In addition, the response has to return to the visitor’s device and be rendered into something tangible, which takes an additional one hundred milliseconds. Shopify tries to improve anything that can make a site’s speed feel slow. The amount of time humans can detect is 200 milliseconds, the minimum amount of time that can be considered slow.

Server-side rendering

Storefront Renderer (SFR) is a server-side renderer that handles storefront requests. SFR is committed to providing storefront requests with as fast a response as possible.

Cache misses are instances in which a page or other requested data isn’t located in the cache memory and, as a result, needs to be retrieved from other cache levels or the main memory. For example, the Shopify storefront renderer considerably improves the performance of cache misses.

They are placing their application layer, which they refer to as the Storefront Renderer (SFR), in as many locations as they can throughout the world to cut down on the amount of time it takes for network traffic to travel between locations.

This is compared to something that Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) dub “edge caching,” In their case, they are moving not just the files the browser retrieves but also the whole system that renders storefronts. They must bring the engine that drives commerce closer to those who use it because commerce is customized and dynamic.

Over the past year, Shopify increased SFR’s points of presence, and the company also lowered the time to first byte (TTFB) for around 20% of their traffic. For instance, instead of German buyers needing to access an application hosted in the USA, they could now handle their request from within the EU — avoiding the need to cross the ocean and back to the user.

Network transit time is one of the levers they can use to make all Shopify sites fast. So keep an eye out for further information regarding how they tackle the app and data levels of their infrastructure.

In Conclusion

Faster is going to need to be faster. The platform’s always looking for ways to make Shopify stores faster and more profitable. So there are always more openings to optimize, improve, and invent as part of the performance journey–and it’s a journey Shopify is always on.

Optimizing ecommerce site speed takes time and performance. Therefore, it is essential to have the support of your team to devote time and resources to optimize your site’s speed and performance. In addition, you can construct a case using the information and resources provided in this article.

Many of these adjustments are accomplished by the user. If you find it impossible, you can list the assistance of a Shopify Plus Partner like Me. They can guide you on how to speed up your Shopify site. If you require extra support, kindly drop your question in the comments below.

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