November 7, 2006, 12:00 AM

Demand for web site speed goes up several notches

Consumers will not wait more than 4 seconds for a web page to download, says a new survey by JupiterResearch. Speed of downloading is most important to those with the longest online experience and highest spending.

Remember the 8-second rule? History.

Consumers will not wait more than 4 seconds for a web page to download says a new survey conducted by JupiterResearch for Akamai Technologies Inc. Speed of downloading is most important to those with the longest online experience and highest spending, the study says.

The study says more than one-third of shoppers with a poor experience abandoned the site entirely, while 75% were likely not to shop on that site again. In addition, nearly 30% of dissatisfied customers will either develop a negative perception of the company or tell their friends and family about the experience, Jupiter says.

The report says poor site performance ranks behind only high prices and shipping costs as leading factors for dissatisfaction among online shoppers.

The study was based on a survey of 1,058 online shoppers during the first half of 2006

Other finds include:

• Half of online shoppers with two or more years tenure shopping online or who spend more than $1,500 annually identify page loading time as a top priority for online sites.

• 46% of online shoppers insist on rapid checkout, with 55% of shoppers who spend $1,500 or more demanding the same.

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