September 15, 2009, 12:00 AM

The new page-loading threshold: 2 seconds

Time is running out for web sites with slowly loading pages to speed up: 47% of online consumers say they expect a web page to load in two seconds or less—down from a 4-second threshold three years ago, Forrester Consulting says.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Time is running out for web sites with slowly loading pages to speed up: 47% of online consumers say they expect a web page to load in two seconds or less-down from a 4-second threshold three years ago, Forrester Consulting says in a new study.

The study, conducted on behalf of Akamai Technologies Inc., a provider of technology that helps web sites serve up content more quickly and reliably, also found that 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to render before they abandon a site.

The study, based on a survey of 1,048 online shoppers, also found:

  • 52% say quick page loading is important to their site loyalty, up 12% from a similar study in 2006.
  • 14% who have to wait for a web page to load will begin shopping at another site, and 23% will stop shopping or walk away from their computer.
  • 79% who experience a dissatisfying visit are less likely to return to the same site make a purchase, up 17% from the 2006 study; in cases involving multichannel retailers, 27% are less likely to buy at the same e-retailer’s physical stores.
  • 64% who have a dissatisfying visit would go to another retail web site, up 16% from the 2006 study.
  • 23% of dissatisfied online shoppers attribute their dissatisfaction to slowly loading web pages.
  • 57% of online shoppers insist on a rapid checkout, up from 10% in 2006.

    Forrester Consulting is part of research and advisory firm Forrester Research Inc.

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