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33% on broadband won't wait more than 4 seconds for page load - survey results
75% won't shop there again if the site has performance or tech problems
gibbergibber

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 11:15 am on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

A survey by Akamai has found that if an ecommerce website takes more than 4 seconds to load 33% of the users on broadband will move on:

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

The loading time was second only to pricing in making people decide whether to purchase from a particular site.

4 seconds is half the time most shoppers were willing to give in the last survey, presumably because broadband connections have upped people's expectations for how quickly a site can appear.

[edited by: lorax at 1:58 pm (utc) on Nov. 12, 2006]
[edit reason] corrected to match report [/edit]

 

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 12:52 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

This sounds like a piece of nonsense to me. I am in the "mature shopper" category that they surveyed and I would happily wait up to about eight or ten seconds. Four seconds seems much too quick.

After all, when you are concentrating on another part of the screen it can take about a second or two to get your mouse pointer over the back button. I would like to know how they phrased the question.

digicam

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 2:51 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I assume are talking tongue in cheek ;)

If your site is taking more than a few seconds then people start getting frustrated, long checkouts are also a nono.

cheers.

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 2:57 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

No, I am not talking tongue in cheek and I know trhat speed is very important. All I am saying is that I personally think that eight seconds is just about acceptable.

If you want proof that slow sites work just try the Paypal site and eBay.

vite_rts

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 3:56 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think perhaps Paypal & Ebay have the power to hold ones attention, actually, i've always found both reasonably fast 70% of the time,

For newer sites tho,,

Staffa

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 4:10 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

website takes more than 4 seconds to load, 75% of shoppers won't use it or return to it

If waiting more than 4 seconds is too long, I wonder how they are going to fill the next 80 years of their lives since most want to live to be a hundred or more ;o)

jsinger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 7:02 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

So name some ecommerce sites that load under 4 seconds.

BTW, I'm on hold right now to speak with my cable company...5 minutes and counting.

maccas

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 7:08 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would wait for at least 10 seconds if it was a product I really wanted, and if it failed to load I would return later.

jsinger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 7:12 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Walmart.com takes 3 seconds on a T-1!

Half of online surfers still use dial up, so I guess none of them ever shop online.

What garbage that article is, but it served its PR purpose for Akamai, I guess.

"Further research by Akamai found that almost half of the online stores in the list of the top 500 US shopping sites take longer than the four-second threshold to finish loading."

walkman



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 7:20 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

and Akamai does what...? Oh, they offer to serve your pages faster for a fee. Sorry, but I don't buy this non-sense. 4 seconds is nothing.

ssgumby

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 8:35 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

My site takes 3-4 seconds on cable modem.

Our statistics show that 80% of our users are on broadband, 15% are on corporate network and 5% are dialup. So I am happy with my load times on broadband.

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 9:05 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

My opinion is that if they can't wait more than 4 seconds, I don't want them as a customer.

Just imagine what they'd expect for shipping times!

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 9:53 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't buy this non-sense. 4 seconds is nothing.

Thank you! So I am not alone?

Lovejoy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 10:55 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sounds like crap to me, what can you load in 4 seconds at 56K? It would be pretty hard to have any interesting content or graphics at that rate.
You'd have to set up a front page with "For dial up customers click here", "For High Speed Connections click here" ;~)

jsinger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 11:35 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

if an ecommerce website takes more than 4 seconds to load, 75% of shoppers won't use it or return to it:

According to that, 4 seconds is FAR too long. You'd have to shoot for < 1/2 second for the customer loss to be manageable. LOL!

Maybe we need just a big text "buy button" without mentioning the company or what the products is.

jsinger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 11:40 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

akami's own site

Download Times*
Connection RateDownload Time
14.4K 47.79 seconds
28.8K 24.00 seconds
33.6K 20.60 seconds
56K 12.44 seconds
ISDN 128K 3.95 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps 0.53 seconds

Akami's business is accelerating the delivery of web content. No surprise there.

I always heard that 20 seconds was pretty darn good!

jecasc

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 9:33 am on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

For me that sounds reasonable.

First of all: Chances are that - if the first page takes 4 seconds to load - the other pages on a website are as slow as the first one. Since you usually have to load more than one page when making a purchase this adds up.

Secondly and more important: The customer searches on google for the item he wants to buy and gets hundreds of result. So he checks out one search results after another. The moment he clicks on a link he does not yet know if the website will even offer what he is looking for and if it's worth waiting.

And he knows from experience that he will have to check out a dozen sites or so before he will find what he is looking for. If after a few seconds the website does not load he will go on and check out one of the other websites.

Wlauzon

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 10:35 am on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Our survey shows that if pictures of naked armadillos are on your website, that buyers are 75% more likely to go elsewhere.

So for a limited time, we are offering our "no armadillos" package. We will remove all pictures of naked armadillos from your site and keep them off for only $95 a month.

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 11:40 am on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was more interested in how the survey group were asked this question. I went to the Akamai website where the actual report is available. Here is the actual question.

Question: Typically, how long are you willing to wait for a single Web page to load before leaving the Web site? (Select one.)

Less than 1 second
1 to 2 seconds
3 to 4 seconds
5 to 6 seconds
More than 6 seconds

Guess what? Four seconds is right in the middle. ;)

I wonder what the result would have been if they had been asked to choose from

Less than four seconds
4 to 8 seconds
8 to 12 seconds
12 to 16 seconds
More than 16 seconds?

To offer an option of less than one second is patent nonsense. It is practically impossible for anyone to decide not to wait less than one second.

If anyone is interested the actual report is available from,
[akamai.com...]

digicam

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 1:47 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

"My opinion is that if they can't wait more than 4 seconds, I don't want them as a customer."

...Well if you dont want the custom then by all means send them over to me, I will gladly take them off your hands for you ;)

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 2:33 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

The report shows that only 18% abandoned the site if it were too slow. Where is the 75% number at?

And then further into the report, another percentage figure...

Overall, 28% of online shoppers will not wait more than 4 seconds...

[edited by: pageoneresults at 2:35 pm (utc) on Nov. 10, 2006]

cabowabo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 2:34 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Personally, I hate these reports that group all sites into one category and state "this is how it is, conform or die". Check your web logs, see the abandonment rate and see where you can make changes to improve visitor stay, page views and conversions. Relying on surveys from college drop outs or recently fired consultants will only hurt your business. Use your web stats - and build your site for your visitors not based on some idiot's latest rant to meet a deadline.

Cabo

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 2:42 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just read the pdf report and I think the BBC has their numbers off a bit. The actual report says nothing about 75% of shoppers not buying if the website takes 4 seconds to load.

And then, we need to define "load time". Is the user sitting there staring at a blank page for more than 4 seconds? If so, I would assume those numbers to be higher.

The report does shed some interesting light on the top reasons ecommerce sites fail. Load time is one of the lesser evils online retailers need to worry about. I see more JavaScript errors in my foray into online buying. Load times are usually not an issue. ;)

mrjohncory

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 2:51 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey, I agree that this is just PR and that that's annoying.

But... I think it takes around 5 seconds of waiting for me to remember that a certain site's ancillary issues (market monopolization, overuse of images, shoddy customer service, and political donations that rub me the wrong way) are enough of a thorn to have me search around for an alternative marketplace.

Also, if you can make your ecommerce store a little faster by saving your images correctly and using some proper layout and CSS, us shoppers would definitely appreciate it. ;)

jsinger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 3:54 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

BeeDeeDubbleU, nice point about how the survey was crafted.

was more interested in how the survey group were asked this question. I went to the Akamai website where the actual report is available. Here is the actual question.
Question: Typically, how long are you willing to wait for a single Web page to load before leaving the Web site? (Select one.)
Less than 1 second
1 to 2 seconds
3 to 4 seconds
5 to 6 seconds
More than 6 seconds

Guess what? Four seconds is right in the middle. ;)



I would have answered about 20 seconds as an old timer. It depends on what one is searching for. I remember waiting 10 minutes in 1994 for early babe pics to download.

Spent an hour looking at competitive site download times yesterday and ours ranks near the fastest with 20 seconds at 56K. I know of much slower sites that do more business than we do.

We have a customer comment box [admittedly at checkout] on our site and customers sometimes praise us for fast loading. We do read a fair amount of criticism but never once about site speed.

beren

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 4:08 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Aren't you nay-sayers forgetting conventional wisdom: smaller is better.

From the Brett Tabke's famous guide: [webmasterworld.com...]

"D) Page Size:
The smaller the better. Keep it under 15k if you can. The smaller the better. Keep it under 12k if you can. The smaller the better. Keep it under 10k if you can - I trust you are getting the idea here. Over 5k and under 10k. Ya - that bites - it's tough to do, but it works. It works for search engines, and it works for surfers. Remember, 80% of your surfers will be at 56k or even less. "

Now that's 4 and a half years old, but I think it is still good advice. Sure, Akami has an incentive to promote faster downloads, but if this survey gets people to reduce the size of their graphics (and stop using Flash!), that is a good thing.

[edited by: beren at 4:09 pm (utc) on Nov. 10, 2006]

Kufu

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 4:09 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

The moment he clicks on a link he does not yet know if the website will even offer what he is looking for and if it's worth waiting.

Exactly!

I am not saying four seconds is reasonable, but if it's a site I am visiting for the first time, and it doesn't load quickly (whatever that may be) I am not going back; however, there are sites that I shop from regularly, and sometimes the connection is just slow, and I have waited more than 20 seconds for pages to load.

Naturally, the faster the load-time the better, but I have not seen many sites that consistently load slower than 8 to 10 seconds per page.

FourDegreez

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 4:11 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised by all the doubters. I know that in my own experience, 4 seconds or more of wait time frustrates me. If the site is reputable, I'll wait for it. But if it's something I clicked in the Google SERPs, I'll just back out and go to the next link. If it loads quickly, that page has my attention, and not yours.

I thought it was conventional wisdom in the web design community that fast load times are very important. On a broadband connection, who is going to wait 10 or 20 seconds for a page to load? Not many people. Ideally a page should load in under a second, two tops.

jsinger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 4:33 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd be even more inclined to abandon an ecommerce site if it had no "meat" on the first page or it looked like Jacob Nielsen's.

His site does download under 4 seconds. You think he knows something unknown to Amazon or Walmart.com?

And how does Akamai account for all those long ugly "one page wonder" commerce sites that can be goldmines?

weeks

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3151205 posted 4:49 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Four seconds is too long to load most sites.

The attitude I'm seeing here is typical.

One, retailers typically think the customers find their store/web site/product/advertising oh-so-compelling, when in fact the vast majority are not excited to be there at all. It's a chore, or it is soon going to be as they have to sort out price, size, value, etc.

Two, since the barriers to making a sale are inherently high, things like poor parking, unclear pricing, weird operating hours, no sales help, difficult to find products and slow to load web site, therefore, have a bigger impact that one would logically think they should have.

Welcome to the world of the marketing guy: Over-confident retailers and very reluctant customers. As we have seen here, the marketing guy is charged, of course, with changing the customers' attitude when what need to change is the retailer.

Stupid customers! Bad, bad, bad.

(One of my clients is a church. I'm not kidding--the minister is ready to wage war on the membership of the church. They are not pledging as they should! Shame!)

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