A new study of website speeds finds that eCommerce websites take more than twice as long to load as customers will wait, but firms can retain business by cutting loading times, AGENT Digital reports
AGENT Digital urge US firms to slash their website page loading times in a bid to retain customers during busy sales periods throughout 2019.— A comprehensive cross-sectoral study of US business website speeds bears ominous tidings for eCommerce retailers in 2019, finding that websites take more than twice as long to load on mobile devices than busy customers are prepared to wait. The ‘United States Website Speed Report’ sees leading digital agency
The report shows that General eCommerce Retail websites in the US take on average 7.51 seconds to load fully on mobile devices, making it the slowest of all the business sectors surveyed.
At more than twice the recommended industry speed standard of less than three seconds, the General eCommerce Retail finding was described by AGENT Digital managing director Kevin Meaney as “a wake-up call”.
“Research shows us 53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load (Google),” Mr Meaney said.
Based on an analysis of 11m websites throughout a wide range of US business sectors (Google), AGENT Digital’s researchers created the ‘United States Website Speed Report’, which highlights potential losses for sites that don’t load swiftly enough for increasingly discerning and time-sensitive mobile customers.
For owners of websites in other US business sectors, the news is not much better. No sector surveyed had average mobile loading times that were within the recommended 2-3 seconds threshold.
According to the AGENT Digital report, the fastest average page loading time on mobile devices was 3.59 seconds for websites in the Professional Services (Consultancy) sector. Average mobile loading time across all sectors surveyed was 5.74 seconds.
Mr Meaney explained that the focus on website speed has been intensifying over the past decade, and urged US businesses to make website speed a priority for 2019 to ensure their webpage loading times are not causing potential sales to slip through the net.
He stated: “Google has for years aimed to load its pages in under a half-second, and regards 2 seconds as the e-commerce threshold. As long ago as 2012, Google was describing loading times of 5 seconds as an eternity in a world where fractions of seconds count (Google). And other research has concluded a delay of just one second can result in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and a 7% loss of conversions (Aberdeen Group).”
The report, created to help make US businesses more aware of the importance of website speed, finds that websites in the US Professional Services (Consultancy) sector had the fastest average loading time on mobile devices (3.59 seconds), followed by websites in Energy (4.41 seconds), and by Financial Services (Insurance) sites, with their average page loading time of 4.68 seconds.
As noted, the research finds Retail eCommerce (General) sites with the slowest average loading time on mobile devices, at 7.51 seconds, behind the 6.7 seconds for Technology sector websites, and those in the Non-Profit sector, which have an average loading time of 6.69 seconds.
In 2019, swift mobile loading time has become critical for two reasons, Mr Meaney explained. There is a correlation between delays and bounce rate (the percentage of users who leave a website after viewing only one page). Bounce rate increases as page-load times increase, so longer waits are more likely to result in mobile users leaving for other websites (Akamai).
“Based on the industry standard of a 3-second load time, even the fastest US sector is losing over half of its mobile site visitors. With 237.6-million smartphone users in the US this year, forecast to increase to 270.66-million by 2022 (Statista), this highlights the scale of the issue.” Mr Meaney stated.
To help businesses, AGENT Digital has 10 pragmatic tips that companies can implement to improve their website speed immediately:
1 - Enable Compression
3 - Reduce Redirects
4 - Check your Plugins
5 - Resolve 404 Errors
7 - Leverage Browser Caching
8 - Improve server response time
9 - Use a Content Distribution Network
10 - Optimize Images
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