Schoolyard Snacks

From Slowpoke to Hotcake: How Schoolyard Snacks boosted their Shopify site speed in just four weeks

From Slowpoke to Hotcake: How Schoolyard Snacks boosted their Shopify site speed in just four weeks

Poor Core Web Vitals on Shopify

Since its inception, Schoolyard Snacks has seen rapid growth. Increasing demand and a change in ownership put significant pressure on Schoolyard Snacks, particularly on its Shopify Plus ecommerce website.

The new ecommerce team at Schoolyard Snacks had inherited technical debt that was not fully understood. Schoolyard Snacks simultaneously runs promotional, catalog, and UX experiments to optimize marketing spend and Shopify store conversion rates.

With the ever-increasing number of marketing tracking pixels, Shopify apps, and conversion optimization snippets installed, the site’s speed and user experience began to suffer. This led to frustrated customers, declining traffic, and decreasing revenue.

To address these challenges, Schoolyard Snacks’ new ownership team partnered with SpeedSense. Their goals were to optimize the web performance of their Shopify Plus storefront, enhance user experience, pass Google’s Core Web Vitals, and ultimately boost revenue.

To help justify the project, Schoolyard Snacks didn’t just take our word for it; using our web performance ROI models powered by industry benchmarks we predicted lift for traffic, conversion rate, and revenue. Our models showed that by improving site speed to pass Google Core Web Vitals, Schoolyard Snacks’ can expect:

  • Between 9% and 13% increase in traffic
  • Between 4% and 14% boost in conversion rate
  • Yielding a 7% to 13% jump in ecommerce revenue.

This clearly shows a massive opportunity in site speed improvement and the effect on ecommerce revenue.

The first challenge was to fix rendering performance - particularly Largest Contentful Paint, one of three Google Core Web Vitals.  For Schoolyard Snacks, the Shopify Plus site was taking over 7 seconds to render the hero element on desktop — that’s a looooong time! The goal for any site is to render LCP in under 2.5 seconds.

Aim for 2500ms to pass the Core Web Vitals LCP threshold. Image courtesy of Google.

Sensai, our site speed intelligence platform, scored Schoolyard Snacks as follows on May 1, 2024:

Performance CategoryHealth Score
Backend 80How well the server is responding to traffic
Rendering55"Looks fast" How fast elements are drawn to the screen.
Interactivity83"Feels fast". How quickly the page responds to user input
Visual Stability99Elements are stable on-screen as the page loads
Overall76Weighted average across all metrics, pages, and user traffic


Shopify Site Speed Audit

To determine the root cause of slowness on theSchoolyard Snacks website, we needed to dive deep under the hood of their Shopify Plus store with a site speed audit.

We knew rendering was a problem, but where on the site, and where in the code specifically? That is where our site speed monitoring platform, Sensai, comes in. Sensai plugged into Schoolyard Snacks' GA4 account to merge user behaviour, Core Web Vitals, and the results of thousands of performance scans for every page of the site.

Our audit focussed on the areas of the site which receive the most traffic to make the biggest impact with the smallest effort. In Schoolyard Snacks’ scenario, 90% of its traffic is distributed on just 4 Shopify templates: homepage, category pages, product detail pages, and blog posts.

Immediately after reviewing initial results, a major root cause for slowness was apparent.


Remove Google Optimize and Anti-Flicker Snippet

Schoolyard Snacks had deployed Google Optimize and the corresponding anti-flicker snippet, as is commonly used with client-side A/B testing tools. Here is the catch: Google Optimize is no longer running. Instead of getting into a discussion on how to run A/B testing in a performant way, we knew the script had to go since A/B testing with Google Optimize was not happening regardless, and the delay introduced was harming the UX badly!

Below, you will find a sample of our audit recommendation.


Delete the anti-flicker and Optimize import code blocks that seem to appear on every page. This code is not originating in the Google Tag Manager, but is instead early in the <body> tag in the Shopify theme. It also shows up with JavaScript disabled, so it’s coming from the original server HTML response.


Optimize is an obsolete A/B testing product, so experiments cannot be run. The code is still in place to hide the page for up to 10 seconds while the experimentation files are loaded and run.


May introduce CLS and INP side-effects, as the page will no longer be hidden during the initial load. Subsequent recommendations address these side-effects.

Reach3,240 Pageviews / Week
Metric AffectedLCP, CLS, INP
Expected Impact1,000 ms improvement in LCP

Schoolyard Snacks determined that the effort to remove Google Optimize was trivial — a best-case scenario for high reach, high impact, and high confidence recommendations.

Within an hour this was fixed, tested, and deployed. On to the results!


At the time of writing this case study, Schoolyard Snacks is now passing the Google Core Web Vitals assessment on both mobile and desktop devices. This is a huge win for the brand!

Schoolyard Snacks' Shopify store passing Google Core Web Vitals on Mobile
Schoolyard Snacks' Shopify store passing Google Core Web Vitals on Desktop

Google Search Console recognized the performance improvement very quickly, flipping tons of red hot issues to a calming green. Here’s a before and after comparison of the percentage of pages with Google Core Web Vital issues according to Google Search Console:

Schoolyard Snack's Shopify store Core Web Vitals Page Distribution

Sensai health scores are in very good shape as well. As expected, with Google Optimize and its anti-flicker snippet gone, layout shifts are more apparent. We tackled that next!

Performance CategoryDesciptionHealth Score BeforeHealth Score After
BackendHow well the server is responding to traffic8080
Rendering"Looks fast" How fast elements are drawn to the screen.5588
Interactivity"Feels fast". How quickly the page responds to user input8388
Visual StabilityElements are stable on-screen as the page loads9983
OverallWeighted average across all metrics, pages, and user traffic7686

Rendering of the Shopify site improved dramatically - Desktop LCP in particular dropped from over 7,000ms to 2,100ms! This yielded an improved user experience immediately and a boost in SEO traffic.

Largest Contentful Paint Improvements

More Shopify site speed audit recommendations are shipping soon, and we expect to see traffic, engagement, and revenue to climb. Stay tuned for updates!


Faster Rendering


Faster Interactivity

Passing Google Core Web Vitals

"I am already experiencing the site loading exponentially faster!!"

Katen "Keith" Pabley
Chief Executive Officer

Schoolyard Snacks was born out of a love for childhood snacks and a mission to develop delicious, low-carb, and keto-friendly alternatives to popular snacks like cheese puffs and cereal. Their snacks bring back childhood memories and align with diverse dietary preferences and a healthy lifestyle.


Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)


Founded in 2019

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