Web performance and speed with Shopify eCommerce in 2024

The in and out, the upside and downside of the web performance situation at Shopify now to achieve better store speed

Web performance is a constantly-changing game and adventure that requires enormous effort put in to stay up-to-date. Shopify conceives the same idea here and continually updates its platform to meet the standard.

Understanding the importance of Core Web Vitals.

Improving your store performance is not merely about gaining the loading speed up by X percent. As we are in the world of eCommerce, we care about gaining traffic and turning traffic into sales. Customers expect websites to load quickly, and intuitively, and be responsive, not just "fast".

As a leading player, Google thinks that the web requires a standard to guide developers in making a better web, in our case, a better eCommerce. Core Web Vitals was introduced to address this matter and acted as a bible for improving website performance, and most important, user experience.

These metrics provide a standard way to measure and optimize user experience. Using real user data, they are more representative of actual performance. Scoring well in web vitals feeds into better SEO results as well as higher conversion rates.

The data-driven web performance.

Understanding the fact that eCommerce is changing at a swift pace, so as the demand for a faster online store performance. The previous Speed Score used a single Lighthouse score to assess site performance. This educated a large population of merchants in the market.

But, Lighthouse’s scoring criteria have their limitations. They fail to represent real-world user experiences, leading to confusion and frustration, such as:

  • The audit is taken place on a low network, and device condition, which resulted in an unparalleled report, not reflecting how users actually see the loading. May sometimes cause you to falsely comprehend your site speed.

  • Only able to audit with a few certain pages. Caused unbiased report.

Sometimes, Lighthouse's scoring comes in handy when your store is just starting off the development, but after the launch, bad user experience reports may later on hurt your conversion rate silently.

On January 31, 2024, Shopify rolled out a new web performance dashboard for the online store. The new web performance dashboard captures actual interactions and experiences from real users. This provides a fuller understanding of how your website performs in the real world. This includes all the variations of connection types, device types, locations, and browsers.

What does this report tell you?

You may find the report quite intuitive inside the Shopify admin already. You can explore the Shopify admin and understand the basic ideas it delivers.

Low data or no data

Just as we mentioned above, the PageSpeed Insight data may come in handy a bit more when you are just starting off. However, with low traffic, performance can appear to jump around from day to day. If this is the case, try grouping data by week or month.

Read the dashboard

With the web performance dashboard, pinpointing performance issues becomes easier. Rather than a single score, we now provide data and ratings for 3 areas that impact user experience.

  • Loading Speed represents how fast the page loads for the user, and is known as the Largest Contentful Paint.

  • Interactivity represents how responsive the site is when a user interacts with it. This may or may not be comprehended as Total Blocking Time. Due to the fact that the browser running your Javascript code, it cannot react to the clicking, and scrolling of your site, especially on mobile devices with low CPU. It can sometimes be your mobile nav bar, or mobile cart drawer that reacts slowly and then later on impacts the Interactivity score.

  • Visual Stability represents how smoothly the page loads, avoiding sections jumping around.

Any rating that is not marked as good represents an opportunity for improvement. The data point provided for each measure is the reading from the 75th percentile. This means that 3 out of 4 users would have experienced a better experience than the rating. The 4th would have experienced something worse.

You can explore the data further by clicking on the metric titles.

This opens a more detailed view of each metric. You’ll see the percentage of users falling into each bucket of good, moderate, and poor. Using this data you can quickly identify areas that need improvement.

Clicking the metric title or the icon in the top right corner of each card (and metric) will take you through to the time series breakdown.

The good sides

This Shopify updates give the data-driven approach the throne among all other performance optimization approaches:

  • You can see device and network data. If your customers are using a 4g+ connection, there would be no such care about the throttled report from Lighthouse with 1M of download speed allowed.

  • The removal of other irrelevant, seemingly-not-so-important metrics for you to care about: Total Blocking Time, Speed Index, First Contentful Paint.

  • Real-time data to see if your changes reflect a better site performance or not.

The downsides

There is no such perfect solution to one single problem all the time. Since we are using real user data, there would be a few drawbacks:

  • If your customer is not even viewing the site content, maybe it is taking too long, maybe the content seems irrelevant, and they will quit the page quickly enough that there is no data collected, as known as the bounce rate.

  • If no interaction on the page, there is no interactivity data collected.

  • If in an early development phase, it would not be very helpful.

  • If there is any blocking to the anonymous data collecting, there would be no data. Then, the report can be biased.


It is still better to have a deep-dive audit of your site leveraging all possible tools up the sleeves, not just one single metric or report. It may appear sometimes that you find your stores slow but the speed tells otherwise. In Avada Seo Suites, we provide support to tackle these with our deep-dive audit and performance optimization techniques.

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