Online consumers impatient for sites to load

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We’re an impatient lot online, as a new survey suggests that if it takes more than 4 seconds for a web page to load, we’ll abandon it.

Research by Akamai showed that we’re less happy to wait for our web experiences, probably fuelled by an increased use of broadband. Now that we have faster connections, we’re expecting that everything online should function more quickly.

75% of the 1,058 people asked would not return to websites that took longer than four seconds to load.

Other nasties that stop people returning to sites include poor navigation and page layout, lack of information, and lengthy checkout procedures.

One in three people said that these factors gave them a negative perception of a company, some of whom would then tell their family or friends about their poor experience.

Research carried out early on in the online shopping boom suggested users were prepared to wait 8 seconds for a page to load. Perhaps a lesson there for retailers not to assume that because most of their visitors have broadband, that they’re prepared to wait for flashy, bloated web pages to download. Seems that retailers who do this can wave good-bye to serious amounts of cash.

Andy Merrett