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The Importance Of Optimising Images

  • Written By Grace
  • Posted September 29, 2016
  • 2 minutes Read Time

Of course, you want pictures on your Magento eCommerce website. Everyone knows that visual content is crucially important for online sales. In eCommerce you need to have high-quality product photography and aspirational images to carry your brand message properly, and encourage customers to make that purchase.

The trouble is, if you don’t optimise your images they can take a very long time to load and that will work against you. Did you know that the average customer expects page loads to take no more than a couple of seconds? If yours takes much longer, your nearest competitor is only ever a quick click or screen touch away. It’s a fine line when it comes to retaining clients or losing them. So let’s have a look at some of the basic requirements for image optimisation.

Let’s consider the 3 types of image files. JPG is a standard format for digital images that have the full quality of detail we’d all want from a great photo. The trouble is they can be extremely large. That’s obviously not such a problem if you’re printing, but for eCommerce screen display it means just too much time spent loading. That’s why people tend to use GIFs or PNGs for web use. These images are compressed but still offer a wide range of colours, so that the quality of the image remains very good. In web compression for general eCommerce sites, it’s preferable to forgo some quality in order to optimise page load times. It’s critically important to get that right.

If you have a program like Photoshop that automatically reduces file sizes, unless there’s a particular reason you need extremely high-quality graphics, you’ll probably find that you have high enough quality if you choose a mid-range setting, such as ‘High.’ As a rule of thumb, Magento product photos shouldn’t take up more than about 150KB and if you have a much larger photo to display online, a maximum of around 350KB is generally all that’s required.

Like all optimisation in eCommerce, the bottom line is making the shopping experience quick, easy, seamless and enjoyable for the customer. Get those factors right and you’ll see the results in sales.  So, your homework is to double check your Magento page load times, and if necessary, get to work properly optimising your images.