21 Oct 2022
  • Website Development

Optimizing Shopify Store Performance (Navigating Third-Party Widgets)

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By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro


You run a Shopify store and decide to use one of those third-party widgets to add some functionality to your store. You know customers are less likely to buy from sites with slow response times. For example, on Amazon, a page load slowdown of just one second measured across their website could cost them $1.6 billion in sales each year. Poorly designed third-party apps can slow down even industry-leading Shopify themes. I want to share with you examples of how a simple widget can seriously slow your site down.

In this case, we're going to look at Google Analytics. Once the widget is installed, you will see that it adds some excellent information about visitors on your homepage. This looks great, right? But how did this impact your site's performance? Is it slowing down other parts of your site because they're loading slower due to all the extra code associated with that widget?

You know customers are less likely to buy from sites with slow response times. It's a fact and not just a theory. Sites with fast load times outperform their slower counterparts regarding customer engagement, conversions, and brand perception.

The problem is that many Shopify stores are adding third-party apps or widgets without understanding what impact they will have on their site's performance, including:

  • Whether or not the app or widget uses a content delivery network (CDN)
  • The number of requests made by each app/widget to get its data from your store
  • How much JavaScript was loaded by each page

To illustrate the potential impact that a page load slowdown can have, let's look at

According to a recent study, Amazon is estimated to lose $1.6 billion in sales each year due to slow page load times on its website. That's more than enough money to buy every employee at their headquarters a brand-new car.

Now imagine how much this could affect you if your store were affected by similar issues.

Poorly designed third-party apps can slow down even industry-leading Shopify themes.

A widget is a third-party app that you add to your Shopify store.

Widgets can slow down your site and cost you sales

You can find out if a widget is slowing down your site by doing a speed check on Google PageSpeed Insights or

If you want to see how adding a new widget will affect your store's speed, try reading their documentation and downloading the demo version of the app before installing it on your shop.

There are a lot of Shopify themes out there, and each one will have its own set of widgets. If your theme has any widgets that aren't optimized for speed, then you need to remove them.

It may seem like an easy solution, but it's worth considering the impact on your bottom line and the risk you're taking with customer perception before making that decision.

You may have heard that widgets are a great way to boost your sales by displaying relevant products and information on your site. But it can be a risky proposition. For example, you might be tempted to add a widget from one of the big e-commerce platforms - Amazon, eBay or Walmart - to display products from these sites directly within your store. However, this could slow down your website drastically and cause customers to abandon their shopping cart during checkout. This type of thing has been known to happen with other types of widgets too: Google Analytics, Facebook Live Chat; Pinterest Shop Now; "Related Products" boxes; live chat plugins (like Olark); etc.

We've seen that if people start having problems with a page loading too slowly, they'll bounce back out of the browser window pretty quickly without even giving you another chance at getting them interested in what else is available in your store! So think carefully when considering adding new functionality or functionality that could affect speed and perception of quality/trustworthiness before adding anything new because there's no point spending more money than necessary just for some extra clicks (which probably wouldn't convert anyway).

Before adding a widget to your store, it's essential to know what impact it will have on site performance. If you're using Shopify Plus, you can use the built-in performance test tool with the hosting platform.

You can also use an external tool like GTMetrix and WebPageTest to get an idea of how your site will perform once the widget is added.


I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments about what we've covered today, please feel free to contact me. Thanks for reading and happy selling :)

Tyrone Showers