Web shoppers expect two-second response

A study in the US suggests close to half of online customers become frustrated if web pages take more than two seconds to open and longer than three seconds will lead many to abandon a site.

Technology-provider Akamai commissioned Forrester Consulting for the study, which concludes: “Two seconds is the new threshold in terms of an average online shopper’s expectation for a web page to load,” and, “40 percent of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a retail or travel site.”

A similar survey in 2006 found users were prepared to wait four seconds for a page to load. The later report suggests the wider availability of broadband is one reason for the changed expectations of consumers.

The research also concludes a poorly performing site has an effect beyond any online transaction. Almost half (46%) of the survey respondents said they would develop a negative perception of a company following a dissatisfying online-shopping experience. 

More than one quarter said they would be less likely to buy from a high street store if the company’s website underperformed.

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