Many online store owners often make the mistake of not paying attention to the size of photos published on their sites. Whether you’re talking about a product presentation, an article with illustrations or a blog post, every kilobyte matters.
Why? More than half of Internet traffic is generated by mobile devices such as smartphones. To display a graphic on a web page viewed on a phone, it is temporarily downloaded to that device. For those using subscriptions with limited data transfer, the larger the photos and elements on the page, the faster their available limit will be exhausted.
Even if the data limit is not an issue, the size of the photos on a page affects its loading speed. This applies to both smartphones and computers. No Internet user likes to wait a long time for a page to load. If it takes too long to load, there is a high risk that the user will become discouraged and opt for a competing store.
The WebP format helps avoid the aforementioned problems by optimizing the process for both parties. For the user, the website loads faster, while the store owner uses less space on the often expensive server. As a result, the WebP format contributes to better performance, saves server space and improves user experience, which can lead to higher conversion rates for online stores.
What is WebP
In 2010, when the Internet was not yet as advanced as it is today, Google began work on the WebP format. The goal was to cope with the rapidly growing number of photos published online.
The first implementations of the WebP format appeared in 2013, and the first browser to support it was none other than … Chrome. Today we can say that Google has succeeded – an increasing number of portals, websites, stores and blogs use WebP photos.
Benefits of the WebP format
- Improve conversion and customer satisfaction: For online stores, page loading speed and high-quality photos are crucial to customer satisfaction and sales effectiveness. WebP helps reduce page load times through smaller file sizes, resulting in a better user experience and potentially higher conversion rates. Customers are able to browse products faster, and the high quality of the photos allows them to more accurately assess what they are buying. As a result, the use of the WebP format can increase sales and customer satisfaction in e-commerce stores.
- Universality – Support for the WebP format in Web browsers has increased significantly in recent years. In 2023, most popular browsers, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Vivaldi, support the WebP format. It is worth noting, however, that support for WebP in the Safari browser has only been introduced since version 14. This broad compatibility means that most Internet users can seamlessly display WebP photos, regardless of the browser they use.
- Adaptive compression: WebP uses adaptive compression to adjust the compression ratio for different areas of the photo. As a result, the format is able to achieve better photo quality with a smaller file size, as the less important parts of the photo can be compressed more, while areas of greater detail are less compressed.
- Increasing engagement on mobile devices: Nowadays, more and more people are using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to browse and shop at online stores. WebP offers excellent photo quality with a much smaller file size, which is especially beneficial for mobile users who may have bandwidth limitations or slower Internet connections. As a result, e-commerce sites based on the WebP format can more effectively engage and retain mobile users, helping to increase sales and customer satisfaction on these devices as well.
WebP for ecommerce
The WebP format is a great solution for online store owners, especially if they use popular but not necessarily the fastest servers. WebP not only speeds up page loading, but also improves photo quality with smaller file sizes. And this, as you know, translates into satisfied customers, better conversion rates and, ultimately, higher profits.
If you’re running an online store and want to succeed, remember that every kilobyte counts! The WebP format is like a magic wand in the world of photo optimization – just swap your “old” files for these “modern” ones and watch your pages load faster and your customers become happier.