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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 12, 2014

Bigger, heavier ecommerce pages taking longer to load

The latest quarterly "State of the Union" report from application delivery and solutions firm Radware reveals that the average retail website is a lot more cumbersome and slow to load today than it was a year ago resulting in a greater risk of negative brand perception.

by Helen Leggatt

Website developers know that there is a need for speed when it comes to the time taken for a website to load. Too long and consumers will get bored waiting and flit off to a website that loads faster.

The latest report from Radware reveals an uptick in load times as pages get bigger and heavier. The average time to load today among the top 500 ecommerce websites is a whopping 9.3 seconds, an increase of 21% in just one year. In addition, 50% of top ecommerce websites are taking 10 seconds or more to load.

Furthermore, time-to-interact, or how long it takes for a page's primary content to load and become usable, is also up - albeit slightly - rising from 4.9 seconds last year to 5 seconds today.

One reason for these increases is that the average ecommerce page now contains 99 resources such as CSS files and images, up from 93 a year ago. Size has also increased - up 31% from 1094KB a year go to today's 1436KB.

According to Tammy Everts, web performance evangelist at Radware, these slowdowns have a negative effect on brand perception, more so than outages.

"Slowdowns occur 10 times more frequently than outages, and over time, slowdowns can have double the negative financial impact as outages," says Everts. "This also has a major long-term impact on customer retention, as the permanent abandonment rate for a slow site is up to three times greater than the abandonment rate for a site that is down."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brand experience, ecommerce, load time, website optimization

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