You’re not wrong: Globally, page load times for shopping sites increased by seven per cent over the past year. But, for sites in our part of the world, load times increased by even more (over 50 percent), according to digital performance measurement firm Dynatrace.
What’s going on? Connectivity is getting faster, yes, but the slow load times, Dynatrace says, is due to shopping websites adding chat, and connections to Google, Facebook and Twitter. Particularly affected are countries like Australia and New Zealand, due to the distances data must travel for these additional connections.
Page load times for Australian shopping sites have increased from 5.4 seconds last year to 8.2 seconds today according to Dynatrace. That’s compared to a global increase from 4.2 seconds in 2015 to 4.5 seconds this year.
That extra load time has big repercussions for online retailers with reports that many consumers are now unwilling to wait more than three seconds for a slow-loading website.
While for the less impatient amongst us a few extra seconds may not seem like a lot of time to wait, US department store site Nordstrom reported an 11% drop in sales when site response times rose by half a second. The company says that a load time of 2.5 seconds strikes the right balance in offering speed and an experience that encourages people to buy.
Why should you care?
We hear you: What if that sort of load time is simply not achievable while trying to provide your customers an engaging website experience?
Bryan Gardiner’s recent Wired magazine article “The Science of Waiting…and Waiting…for Your Page to Load” is worth your reading. (Hint: it’s not about page load times, but the visitors’ perception of what’s going on).
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Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.