Study: E-Commerce Sales At Risk Over Download Times

“The Need for Speed”, a report released Wednesday by Zona Research, said unacceptable
download times will put e-commerce sales at risk if online vendors do not heed the “eight second rule.”

The report examines how Web page loading times directly impact the ability
to conduct business over the Internet. According to the firm, the key benchmark companies must meet is an eight-second Web page download time. Zona reported that more than a third of Web users may simply give up trying to buy an
item over the Internet when frustrated with an online shopping experience.

Zona Research estimates users’ frustrations could result in as much as
$4.35 billion in United States ecommerce sales being at risk each year due
solely to unacceptable download times.

Significant findings from “The Need for Speed” include:

  • Currently, 44.1 million people in the U.S. are online shoppers. An
    additional 37.5 indicated they will become new online users within the next
    12 months.
  • Shoppers with 14.4-kilobit modems who are unable to load Web pages within
    eight seconds represent at risk losses to vendors amounting to more than $73
    million a month in ecommerce sales.
  • An estimated $58 million a month in ecommerce sales will be due to Web page loading failures.
  • $3 million is at risk monthly in the securities trading industry due to unacceptable download times.
  • Over $2.8 million is at risk monthly in the travel and tourism
    industry because of unacceptable download times.

The report summarizes Web user preferences and tabulates the economic
impact of “bailout rates.” With the advancement of technology, the increase in Web traffic, and the desire to place more visually appealing content on Web pages, the consequences of slow load times could result in a significant loss of revenues for online vendors.

Zona’s “The Need for Speed” report is available for $895. A summary and
table of contents are available here.

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