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In today’s digital age, virtual stores have become a cornerstone of any establishment. As a video commerce company, we understand the importance of integrating video seamlessly into e-commerce websites.

Methodology

In order to evaluate the impact of various video widgets on website performance, we conducted a series of tests using Google PageSpeed Insights. We applied the following process:

  1. Baseline Measurement: We created a new Shopify site and ran Google PageSpeed Insights to establish baseline performance metrics.
  2. Shopify Video Widget: We added a native Shopify video widget to the site and ran the test again.
  3. YouTube Embed: We removed the Shopify video widget, added a YouTube embed, and conducted the test.
  4. A popular e-comm platform: We removed the YouTube embed, added a video widget from a popular third-party vendor, and ran the test.
  5. Firework: Finally, we removed the third-party vendor widget, added a Firework widget, and ran the test one last time.

Metrics that matter

There were three metrics that we took into consideration.

Overall Performance Score
The Overall Performance Score is a comprehensive measure of a webpage’s performance, derived from various factors such as page load time, interactivity, and visual stability. It’s crucial because it provides an aggregated score that reflects the user experience and the efficiency of the page. Higher scores indicate faster, more responsive, and visually stable pages, which can lead to better user engagement and higher conversion rates.

Speed Index
Speed Index measures how quickly the contents of a page are visibly populated. It is an essential metric because it reflects the perceived loading experience of the page. A lower Speed Index indicates that the content is loading quickly, providing a better visual experience for users, which can reduce bounce rates and increase user satisfaction.

Total Blocking Time
Total Blocking Time (TBT) measures the total amount of time that the main thread is blocked and unable to respond to user inputs. Any task that takes longer than 50 milliseconds to execute is a long task. TBT is a critical metric because it directly impacts the interactivity of the page. Lower TBT means the site is more responsive, leading to a smoother user experience.

Analysis

Here is what we observed with the tests

Overall Performance Score
Firework Storyblock performed 6% better than other video commerce vendor and 43% better than Youtube.

Performance Score, by Google Page Speed Insights graph

Impact of Videos on Total Performance

Speed Index
Firework Storyblock was 17% faster than Shopify video widget and 79% faster than Youtube.

Think about opening two browser tabs at the same time to load two different pages:

Tab 1: Uses the Shopify Video Widget.
Tab 2: Uses the Firework Video Widget.

While only 1/5 of the page using the Shopify Video Widget is loaded, the page using the Firework Video Widget is already fully loaded and ready for you. To put it into numbers:

  • Shopify Video Widget Page: Takes 2.8 seconds to fully load.
  • Firework Video Widget Page: Takes 2.324 seconds to fully load.
  • By the time the Shopify page is just starting to display its content, the Firework page is already done loading.
  • Same thing with Youtube embed as well. By the time the YouTube page is only halfway loaded, the Firework page is already finished and waiting for you to engage with the content.

Speed index graph

Total Blocking Time
Firework had 74x higher throughput than YouTube and 9x higher throughput than other video commerce vendor.
Total Blocking Time (ms) graph

Summary

Our analysis underscores the importance of choosing the right video solution for your virtual store. While video content is crucial for engaging customers, it should not come at the cost of website performance. Firework’s video widget proves to be the most efficient, maintaining high performance standards with minimal impact on loading times and responsiveness, ensuring an optimal user experience and supporting higher conversion rates. If you are interested in trying Firework, click here for an absolutely free trial.

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