Why do I need to optimise my products?
LOAD TIMES AND PERFORMANCE CAN AFFECT CONVERSION RATES!
Fast loading / responsive products will offer a better user experience over slow loading / unresponsive products. Therefore, product optimisation should always be a consideration when creating new products on CPP, as the setup can have direct implications on both load times and performance. These affects can be exaggerated when the products are used in retail environments (eg on a kiosk) that may have poor internet connections and want to minimise customer waiting times - or on mobile / tablet devices that only have 3G / 4G connections.
Take a look at the statistics behind this!: How Page Load Times Affects Conversion Rates
How can I optimise my products?
1. USE SMALLER FILE SIZES WHEN UPLOADING ASSETS AGAINST YOUR PRODUCTS ON CPP (DOES NOT INCLUDE PRINT ARTWORK).
The following setup options should feature compressed or optimised files. The smaller the file sizes, the better the load times as there is less data to process.
1a. ASPECTS: These are used to represent the on-screen product preview. As such, they are loaded when the i-frame loads, so file size is important. Aspects have a file size restriction of 1mb, but for performance reasons we recommend uploading images that are less than 500kb where possible.
The system will accept PNG and JPEG formats. If you want to upload more elaborate images/lifestyle shots as a preview, the best thing to do is compress them with free software such as https://tinypng.com/ - or - save JPEG files at a reduced quality from your artwork package to control the file size. Ultimately, the smaller the file size, the faster the load time.
Here is an example of an image intended for use as a preview being run through TinyPNG:
1b. MASK FORMATTING: Masks are used to control personalisation visibility both in the preview and in the print output. Best practice is to ensure that any created masks are always a solid black shape on a transparent background. Removing any colour information will ensure that the file sizes are small.
The examples below highlight the difference in file size that can occur if masks are used that don't conform to the standard format. Here is a 2d view mask comparison in standard format vs coloured - although it's not a huge file it's still over 4x the size:
I you are utilising Image Area masks to control the shape of user uploaded images, then these masks need to be print resolution - so are typically much larger is size vs an Aspect Preview Mask. In these instances, failing to conform to the formatting guidelines can significantly affect file size. Here we can see standard format vs coloured with some noise detail to highlight how significant the file difference can potentially be:
1c. IMAGE AREAS (PLACEHOLDER IMAGES): In some scenario's, placeholder images are used to achieve specific results on a product. Sometimes, these placeholder Images are needed for inclusion in the delivered artwork file when an order is placed - meaning that these are print resolution files and consequently have large file sizes.
Placeholder Images are loaded when the App loads, so the larger the file size the slower the load speed. CPPv2 allows Placeholder images to be selected directly from within a predefined Gallery on the system - the benefit of this approach is that whilst gallery content is print resolution, the system will automatically create a smaller version of the image for the purposes of the preview. This avoids any negative performance hit.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to recent IOS updates, compatibility checks have highlighted that IOS devices will not load design elements set as placeholders that are 2MB+
For these reasons we recommend that you avoid using direct upload for placeholder images for purposes of delivering artwork, unless strictly necessary - in which case the performance should be tested. The best alternatives would be to upload your artwork to Artwork Advanced menu (detailed in point 2 below) - OR - utilise a gallery image as the placeholder.
1d. CUSTOM THUMBNAILS: This becomes applicable if you are using a product selector in the App. There is no definitive limit on thumbnail image size but we recommend a 600x600px image.
2. USE ARTWORK ADVANCED FOR ADDING FIXED DESIGN ARTWORK
The Artwork slot in CPPv2 (found within the Print Area setup) adds a low resolution artwork preview in the App, but retains the print resolution file for the output. The legacy artwork menu in cppv1 did not do this, you had to 'stamp' the 2d view/aspect to update it. This 'stamping' process increased the file size of the preview images significantly - in some cases you can see increases from just a few KB up to several MB.
**A note on Artwork: The artwork files that are to be used should not be compressed. CPP allows artwork files to be uploaded against the print area (via the Artwork menu) at print resolution (300dpi). These slots will take files up to 60mb, and will display a low resolution preview in the App to avoid any negative performance implications. CPP galleries operate based on a similar concept.
3. REDUCE PRODUCT COMPLEXITY
Complicated product configurations can have performance implications and lead to products being unresponsive / 'laggy'. Usually, this is a result of a large volume of design elements on a single product. Things to consider are:
- Volume of Text Areas and any associated sync functionality
- Volume of Image Areas and any associated sync functionality
- Volume of Colour Areas and any associated sync functionality / intricacy and size of custom masks
The more interactive elements that you have, the more information there is to process when the end user personalises the product.