Only 50% of Top500 Sites Meet The 4 Seconds Benchmark for Retail Websites

Four seconds is the maximum length of time an average online shopper will wait for a Web page to load before potentially abandoning a retail site, according to a report by JupiterResearch for Akamai Technologies, that examines consumer reaction to a poor online shopping experience. 
The report ranked poor site performance as second only to high product prices and shipping costs as leading factors for dissatisfaction among online shoppers.
Report Highlights: 
  • More than one-third of shoppers with a poor experience abandoned the site entirely, while 75% were likely not to shop on that site again.
  • Nearly 30% of dissatisfied customers will either develop a negative perception of the company or tell their friends and family about the experience.
  • Roughly half of “mature” online shoppers identify page loading time as one of their top priorities for online sites
  • 46% of online shoppers insist on a rapid checkout process, with 55% of shoppers spending $1,500 or more demanding the same
  • 65% indicated they are likely to return to a site that is easy to navigate, particularly during the registration, log-in and checkout processes

Akamai has seen a consistent increase in Web traffic among its retail customers as evidenced by its unique Net Usage Index for Retail available at Today, Akamai serves over 65 of the top 100 retail sites as recognized by the Internet Retailer Top 500.

Close to half of the retailers on the Internet Retailer Top 500 list experience site response times in excess of 4 seconds while Akamai claims that its retail customers that are part of Internet Retailer's ranking have an 11% improved conversion rate in turning browsers into buyers over non-Akamai customers on the same list. 

US online retail sales this holiday season will increase 23% over last year to reach $27 billion, according to Forrester Research.

Online non-travel (“retail”) spending increased 23% to $23.1 billion, while travel spending was up 9% to reach $18.2 billion in the 3rd quarter of 2006, according to comScore Networks

E-Commerce sites loose as many as 67% of consumers; many abandon their shopping carts due to a lack of product information, according to Allurent.  83% Would Buy More Online if Retailers Added More Web 2.0 Features.

Based on the feedback of 1,058 online shoppers that were surveyed during the first half of 2006, JupiterResearch offers the following analysis:

  • The consequences for an online retailer whose site underperforms include diminished goodwill, negative brand perception, and, most important, significant loss in overall sales.
  • Online shopper loyalty is contingent upon quick page loading, especially for high-spending shoppers and those with greater tenure.
  • JupiterResearch recommends that retailers make every effort to keep page rendering to no longer than four seconds.

For a complimentary copy of the full report is available at

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