Milliseconds Are Critical for Online Retailers

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It goes without saying that website performance is crucial to online retailers for maintaining customer engagement and completing online transactions. Any delays of content delivery or slow load times will certainly impact online revenue. But as Akamia's recent State of Online Retail Performance report shows, seconds...even milliseconds, matter.

The data, gathered by SOASTA (now part of Akamai), represents one month’s worth of anonymous user data from top online retailers, equating to approximately 10 billion user visits. The team applied data analytics to generate insights into the intersection of IT, business, and user experience metrics.

The report explores the “magic number” for page load times and the impact of one-second performance improvements – or slowdowns – on conversion and bounce rates, as well as impact of performance on session length.

Findings include:

A 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by 7 percent A two-second delay in web page load time increase bounce rates by 103 percent

Half of consumers browse for products and services on their smartphones, while only one in five complete purchases using those phones.

Bounce rates were highest for mobile phone shoppers, while tablet shoppers had the lowest bounce rate.

“Results from our State of Online Retail Performance report have shown that user experience is critical to e-commerce success, and things aren’t getting any easier,” said Ash Kulkarni, senior vice president and general manager, Web Experience Division, Akamai. “Customers have extremely short attention spans, and degradations in website performance – no matter how small – can cause consumers to go elsewhere in an instant. Sharing our findings about performance gives online merchants the actionable data they need to stay competitive.”

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