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.

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