RealTime IT News

Report: Slow Downloads Costing Billions

A new industry report concludes that e-commerce companies could be losing as much as $4.35 billion in online sales in the U.S. each year due to unacceptable download speeds and resulting user bailouts.

The report observes that "... it is now widely believed that if users cannot boot up a Web page within a mere eight seconds, they may be at some risk of taking their business to another Internet destination. Quite simply, point-and-click has made us fickle and Web speed has changed everything."

The study, entitled "The Economic Impacts of Web Site Download Speeds," was prepared by Zona Research in conjunction with Keynote Systems.

After crunching all its research numbers, Zona concludes that "perhaps as much as $362.2 million in e-commerce sales in the United States may be lost per month in 1999 due to unacceptable download speeds."

The report provides an example whereby Web sites can calculate the cost of Web technology upgrades against the potential revenue lost from poorly performing sites.

"In such an environment, load speed upgrades would become no-brainers rather than the typical budget turf battles they often now become," the report says.

The large majority of current Internet users access the Web using 28.8 or 56 Kb modems, the report says.