BigCommerce announced Tuesday that it's now offering Akamai's image tool for free to its merchants.
The e-commerce SaaS provider said Akamai's image optimization technology will help online sellers avoid slow-loading pages due to outsized, high-resolution images ahead of Google's plans to make page load speed a consideration for mobile search rankings.
According to BigCommerce, oversized images are the number one culprit for bogged down page loads and poor buyer experiences. The Akamai Image Manager will automate image conversion across devices and speed up load times of image-rich product pages.
"Retailers are constantly in search of ways to improve the performance of their storefront, which has become increasingly difficult as e-commerce websites incorporate more functionality and imagery to engage shoppers," said BigCommerce CTO Brian Dhatt. "Google's recent decision to include mobile page load speed as a factor in search rankings further emphasizes the importance of a high-performing storefront."
Google announced earlier this month that it will begin factoring page speed into mobile search rankings starting in July 2018.
The search giant said the "Speed Update" applies the same standard to all webpages regardless of their underpinning technology. The company insisted it the update will only affect webpages that "deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries."
Desktop searches have been ranked by Google with speed in mind since 2010. Google claims a slow webpage may still rank highly if it has relevant content.
BigCommerce said the Akamai tool is now available to all merchants using the company's new storefront design framework Stencil.
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