4 Ways Image Optimization Reduces Costs and Improves ROI

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Cong Cao
April 25, 2023
3 minute read
Blog header imgix 4 ways image optimization reduces costs

As the economy enters choppy waters, it’s increasingly urgent for businesses to shore up finances, reduce costs, and improve profitability. In a recent survey by NetSuite and CFO.com, 99% of business leaders predict likely budget cuts in 2023.

The same survey, paradoxically, found that 73% of CFOs anticipate an overall increase in tech spending over the next 12 months. This seeming contradiction points to the fact that investing in the right technology can actually improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase long-term ROI.

Image optimization, often overlooked, is emerging as a key technology in driving cost savings. In this article, we will explore the 4 reasons why image optimization helps businesses reduce costs and immediately improve their productivity.

Reason 1: Image optimization increases revenue

Revenue is the first component of any ROI analysis. For businesses looking to increase profitability and maximize the effectiveness of their websites and apps, boosting conversion is paramount.

Faster Page Speed and Higher Conversions
By using visual media processing, businesses can achieve faster page speeds, which leads to higher conversion rates. According to a study by Amazon, for every 100ms improvement in page speed, there is a 1% incremental revenue increase. Since images account for an average of 75% of total page weight on modern websites, optimizing images is crucial to achieving faster page speeds. If you haven’t optimized your images, your image sizing could contribute to page bloat and slower loading times. The best image processing tools can intelligently compress images, serve them at the optimal sizes and Device Pixel Ratios (dpr), and take advantage of modern formats like AVIF where possible. Finally, if you use a powerful visual media CDN that natively optimizes images, you can ensure fast image and video delivery, no matter where your users are and what devices they use.

Improved SEO
Image optimization can also improve SEO by reducing the time it takes for a page to load. With Google's Core Web Vitals, fast page speeds are crucial for search engine ranking. In a study by Neil Patel, a 20% slower page speed can mean the difference between position 6 and position 1 on search engine result pages. Additionally, a faster page speed can decrease the bounce rate, which further improves SEO.

More Responsive Design
User experience is a crucial factor for conversion rate optimization. A responsive design that delivers quality visual media across all devices can significantly improve the user experience. This, in turn, leads to higher conversion rates and more revenue. With advanced optimization software, you can automatically adjust image resolutions and page design compositions.

Reason 2: Best-in-class visual media processing reduces bandwidth costs

Delivering content using legacy providers can carry a hefty price. Legacy CDNs often don’t include image optimization by default. And when they do, the service is very basic and layered under complicated pricing. This often leads to suboptimization, bloated bandwidth consumption, and, ultimately, much higher costs. In contrast, platforms like imgix can easily reduce monthly bandwidth costs by up to 90% with fast content delivery and robust visual media optimization.

  • For starters, you can automatically convert your images from JPEG or PNG to a next-gen format, such as AVIF. Unsplash deployed this type of conversion and slashed their image weights by nearly 60% with no loss in quality.
  • Next, you can automatically compress and resize images. Using the imgix Rendering API, we reduce the image size by 93% in this example using just 3 simple imgix operations.
  • Furthermore, adaptive bitrate streaming can ensure the best video quality for all users at every possible bandwidth.
  • Finally, advanced platforms like imgix use Brotli to compress non-image elements, including HTML, CSS, and Javascript. On average, Brotli offers 82% compression rates.

Reason 3: On-the-fly image processing reduces storage costs

With the proliferation of visual content, cloud storage is another fast-growing cost item. If you use a backend processing solution like ImageMagick or Thumbor, your storage costs could quickly multiply.

Our analysis below compares two scenarios for a business. If the business uses a backend processing solution, it can optimize the derivative files down by 75% from the originals, resulting in an average size of 0.5 MB per image. But if this business generates 10 derivative files per original image, it will lead to 700,000 GB in monthly storage consumption. What's dangerous is that the cost can skyrocket quickly if this company generates more original images each month.

imgix 2023-04-25 storage cost savings

In contrast, an on-the-fly solution has the advantage of transforming images without creating derivative copies. As a result, it consumes only 200,000 GB of storage, a 71% reduction compared to the backend solution. If you pay $0.02 per GB for storage, which is the rate of Amazon S3, you can save up to $10,000 per month using on-the-fly image processing tools.

Reason 4: Best-in-class visual media processing saves time

The final cost component, time, is often the most important yet intractable. Visual media workflow, from creation, transformation, reviewing, optimization, and delivery, can be extremely time-consuming and effort-intense. Even the most agile and coordinated teams can be mired in repetitive tasks without the right tools.

The right visual media platform can save time and eliminate repetitive work for engineers, designers, and marketers, so they can focus on revenue-driving activities.

  • With a proven solution that’s out-of-the-box, engineers can avoid the hassle of building, troubleshooting, and cobbling together custom packages. Instead, they can focus on building the core applications. With imgix, you can automatically take advantage of the latest optimizations, generate srcset attributes, process user-generated images, and more.
  • Designers can focus on coming up with the most creative ideas and bringing them to fruition, instead of tediously generating derivative files. For example, with the imgix Video API, designers no longer need to manually create video thumbnails, preview gifs, or storyboards. With background removal and replacement, designers can highlight products for the ultimate design versatility and precision.
  • For marketers and content managers, imgix’s Asset Manager can simplify asset organization, tagging, and content moderation. Rather than relying on designers, marketers can easily edit images and remove backgrounds. Managing all visual assets on one platform can help bring content to market faster.


Visual media optimization is essential if you are looking to reduce costs and improve ROI. Platforms like imgix increase your revenue by increasing conversion rate, improving SEO, and automating responsive designs. Furthermore, you can reduce costs significantly by decreasing bandwidth consumption, cutting storage costs, and saving valuable time.

Trusted by the world’s most innovative companies like Unsplash and Nikkei, imgix can immediately improve your cost-efficiency. With a simple pricing structure, an expansive network of integrations and SDKs, and highly-rated support, imgix can future-proof all your visual media needs. To learn more, create a free account today or contact us with any questions.