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Millisecond delays can hurt conversion rates on online transactions – Akamai report

24 Apr 2017

Online businesses wanting to stay competitive need to understand how real users are experiencing their site, and how even small or intermittent delays could be hurting their business.

Akamai’s State of Online Retail Performance report found that even milliseconds can matter, when it comes to online performance.

The report gathered 27.7 billion beacons’ worth of global data and roughly 10 billion user visits to websites across US, Europe and Asia Pacific.

“Since my days as Executive Director at I have seen how e-commerce businesses are impacted by performance challenges, yet struggle to identify and treat the root cause,” GrowCommerce and Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum co-founder Scott Silverman says.

At the highest level, the data indicates that website performance is critical to maintaining customer attention and completing online transactions.

Key findings include:

  • 53 percent of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load
  • A two-second delay in web page load time increase bounce rates by 103 percent
  • A 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by 7 percent
  • Bounce rates were highest for mobile phone shoppers, while tablet shoppers had the lowest bounce rate
  • Half of the consumers browse for products and services on their smartphones, while only one in five complete purchases using those phones

Online retail benefits from delivering better customer experiences, especially on mobile devices.

The report identifies ways that high-performance web pages are different from poorly performing pages, looks at third-party scripts and other outside factors that can impact performance, and provides the reader with practical, actionable guidance on how they can compete in an ever-changing e-commerce landscape.

“User experience is critical to e-commerce success, and things aren’t getting any easier,” Akamai web experience division senior vice president Ash Kulkarni says.

“Customers have extremely short attention spans, and degradations in website performance – no matter how small – can cause consumers to go elsewhere in an instant,” Kulkarni adds.

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