How website speed affects shopping behavior

Think the speed of your website doesn’t matter? Think again. Internet users are less tolerant of slow websites than they have ever been, and justifiably so.

The download speed of ecommerce sites has greatly improved over the years. But many retailers still struggle with making their sites run quickly. The unfortunate truth is that, yes retailers can design a user-friendly site, but if it takes too long to load, consumers will not likely shop there.

Now how fast is fast enough? Optimising your page speed can be a hedonic process, kind of like running on a treadmill, but there will always be room for improvement. Even a 1-second delay can have a material impact on revenue for online retailers.

1 second delay = 7% loss in conversions + 11% fewer page views + a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction

So when should we be satisfied? In 2016 you should rate your success against the following benchmarks:

Below 1 second = perfect
1-3 seconds = above average
3-7 seconds = average
7+ seconds = poor
More than 10 seconds and you are losing money is noticeable quantities.

One second load time may be a big ask but every second counts and website speed optimisation may be the very answer to the question, “My website recieves a lot of visitors, but why aren’t they converting?”

Improving website performance and speed is a major concern and in this modern landscape, when consumers demand instant gratification and convenience, in many cases using their mobile devices, a page that takes a few seconds too long to load or one that fails to perform to the user’s expectations can mean a lost sale.

With mobile customers on the rise, the potential of converting these consumers into paying customers is undeniable and should not be avoided. A recent study found that more than 80% of people are disappointed with the experience of browsing on mobile devices, with 64% of these users expecting websites to load in 4 seconds or less, while the average website takes more than twice that amount, at 9 seconds. So it might become worthwhile to ensure that your mobile site has a quick load time.

Consider this:

  • 66% of mobile users say that they’ve encountered at least one problem while browsing within the last 12 months
  • 52% state that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty
  • 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
  • 25% of mobile internet users expect a web-browsing experience on their phone that is equal to that of their desktop
  • 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less
  • At peak traffic times, more than 75% of online consumers leave for a competitor’s site due to loading delays
  • A site that loads in 5 seconds experiences 35% fewer page views, a 50% higher bounce rate, and 38% fewer conversions

At the end of the day nobody is going to wait around for your site to load. So don’t make online shopping painful, especially when consumers are looking for convenience.

Increasing your website’s loading speed will result in happier customers, less bounces, higher conversions, more engagement, even higher search rankings.

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