If you’re selling online, you already know that when it comes to page load times — speed kills.
In fact, just last week Google announced a new ranking algorithm for mobile search —dubbed the “Speed Update”— which will use mobile page load speeds as a ranking factor.
This means that faster loading sites will benefit from improved visibility (Google started using site speed in desktop web search rankings in 2010).
Meanwhile, in recent years ecommerce websites have become more complex with retailers incorporating more functionality and higher-quality, immersive imagery in an effort to engage shoppers.
So how do brands create beautiful, immersive websites while also ensuring fast page load times for shoppers?
Introducing Akamai Image Manager
Today, we’re excited to announce Akamai Image Manager is now available for all Stencil stores worldwide.
What’s Akamai Image Manager?
Akamai Image Manager is an automated image optimizer for device size to help your site load faster no matter the browser’s origin.
This is free for BigCommerce customers – and available at cost for online stores across the web.
BigCommerce merchants using Akamai Image Manager as part of a closed beta for the past several months saw as much as 70% improvement in site load times.
Beginning today, we’ll be automatically enabling Akamai Image Manager for all eligible stores.
BigCommerce has already optimized all images on our CDN, meaning there’s no additional work for you to take advantage of Akamai’s image optimization capabilities, widely regarded as the best in the industry.
Best yet — there is no additional cost to use the feature and it is available across all plan types.
Improving Page Performance Without Compromising Customer Experience
Images play a critical role in ecommerce, addressing one of the inherent issues with shopping online — consumers’ inability to touch, feel or experience the product in person prior to making a purchase.
78% of U.S. consumers also say they expect compelling product images when shopping online.
To combat this, ecommerce brands have spent years looking for opportunities to make products more tangible, both through video and high-quality images, which are prominently featured across their websites.
As a result, the average website page size eclipsed 3MB in 2017, up from less than 1MB in 2011.
The graph below depicts how much ‘page weight’ is contributed by images.
See It in Action
If you’re using the Chrome browser, this handy tool will show you exactly how Akamai Image Manager is helping to optimize your site.
With websites becoming more reliant on imagery, ensuring a fast-loading shopping experience has become a more complicated challenge.
This is especially difficult on mobile where brands have to contend with a fractured mobile landscape with thousands of devices — each with different specs, browsers and screen sizes — making it necessary to convert images to a multitude of sizes and resolutions in order to optimize for each.
With Akamai Image Manager, BigCommerce merchants no longer need to worry about manually managing or resizing images to ensure shoppers get the best possible performance.
Starting today, all BigCommerce stores will benefit from:
- Automatic image conversion. Detect and instantly convert online images to software-specific image formats to capitalize on advanced levels of compression provided through WebP, JPEG-XR and JPEG 2000 native to popular operating systems and browsers.
- Intelligent image delivery across devices. Automatically deliver resized, mobile-optimized images to mobile shoppers, reducing large files that slow site performance and significantly decreasing the amount of time spent personalizing image variants.
- Faster page load speeds. Using Akamai’s perceptual quality algorithm, Image Manager lightens the weight of digital images while maintaining the improved gains in performance, especially when viewing sites from a mobile device. Additionally, better performance leads to higher mobile usage and increased conversion rates.
More information about Akamai Image Manager
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