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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 18, 2009

Internet Marketing 101: Is page-load time killing conversions?

Have you thought about how long it takes your website to load lately? If not, and if the page-loading time is too long, you could be losing potential customers. Why? Because, just like in the initial online years, consumers are turned away by slow site-loads.

by Kristina Knight

"As people rely on the Internet for an increasing number of functions in managing their daily lives, the demand for high speed access has grown considerably. Web users' patience for page loading has clearly diminished over time and those who do not receive immediate satisfaction are likely to shift to a site that can provide it. The ability to monitor page load data will allow us to perform a variety of new analyses that can yield actionable insights for our clients. For example, we are able to review how page load times relate to important factors such as repeat visitation to a site, search usage, and even E-commerce conversion metrics," ">writes Michael Brown, comScore.

Recently comScore studied four airline websites, two which were using Akamai Dynamic Site Acceleration and two which were not. They found that Pageload times with or without purchases were much quicker on the sites using the accelerator feature. In fact, Airline #3's page-load time without a purchase was nearly twice as long as Airline #2; Airline #2 was using Akamai's solution while Airline #3 was not.

"We also found that users of the page load optimization solution had a 40% shorter web page load time when a purchase was involved compared to the sites that did not use a solution. In the case of Airline #2, the page load time with a purchase was actually faster than the page load time without one, which is particularly impressive given that more processing needs to occur in order to confirm a customer's order," writes Brown.

A recent McAfee report found that up to 66% of shopping cart abandoners return to complete a purchase. The real question is why consumers are leaving to begin with. In many cases they are window shopping or still want to price-check a few more outlets. But for some page-load time is an issue so optimizing how quickly your site's pages load could keep these consumers on-site to complete that purchase.

Tags: Akamai, comScore, ecommerce, Internet Marketing 101, McAfee, online engagement, page-load, site-load, website engagement

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  • Makes sense to me. Users have faster connections. They're less willing to sit there waiting for a page to load. It makes a site feel cheap, poorly built and unreliable--even when that's not the case.



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