We all know how damaging a slow website is to ecommerce sales. Even conservative estimates show a 1 second delay in load time can lead to a 7% decrease in sales. To put this into context, if your website is generating £100k in sales per day, a 1 second delay in load time will cost you £2.5m per year in lost revenue. In fact, if a website takes 8 seconds to load (which doesn’t seem like a particularly long time) it could increase its conversion rate by 74% if they were to cut that to 2 seconds.

However, while companies may be aware of how important speed is to ecommerce, they are less likely to understand there is a difference between consumers accessing the site from their home country vs internationally. A common question we get at Thrive Digital is: isn’t it the same?

Isn’t the speed of my website going to be the same internationally?

The speed is not going to be the same internationally, not unless you put effort into it. If you expect that a website loading from a server in the UK, going to a customer in the UK, is going to load at the same speed for a US customer… think again.

Imagine it in terms of the delay you experience when making a transatlantic phone call. Now imagine that you are pushing large amounts of text, images and video down that phone line. It is going to be slow, and these slow speeds are going to affect sales.

Surely, if you had the option to make a call from the US you would. That’s where a CDN comes into play.

What is a CDN?

A CDN (or content delivery network) is basically a way of making a call from the closest possible geographical point. Essentially, a website is copied onto a network of servers internationally. If someone wants to call up your website and talk to it, it can talk to the version of the website that is local to them. This process is invisible to the customer, but dramatically cuts load time on ecommerce sites, resulting in an increase in sales.

If you are engaging in international ecommerce, you need to be using tools to ensure that you are not losing sales due to speed. A CDN is not the only thing that you need to consider, and it is not the only weapon against slow load times available in the arsenal. However, it is valuable and it should be employed.

For more information on international ecommerce, visit our blog.

 

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