Slow Loading Websites – How 2 Seconds Can Cost Your Business £40,000

Website loading time can be a forgotten factor when assessing your website. People tend to focus on aesthetic design and cool functionality but loading times are something that can have a real impact on the profitability of your business, and slow loading websites are costing business.

A well established concept in website design is that visitors will give your website 5 seconds to make an impression before deciding whether to stick around or leave. Websites that take a large chunk of that time to load will drastically decrease their chances of getting the visitor to stay, and therefore of potentially turning that visitor into a customer. A common reason for slow loading websites is that the user is trying to access the content on a smartphone or tablet, in which case it might be time to think about getting a responsive design or mobile app.

Research Findings

Forrester Consulting in 2008 surveyed 1,048 online shoppers and found the following-

  • Consumers become impatient when pages take longer than two seconds to load.snail-hate
  • 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
  • 40 percent of consumers will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to render before abandoning the site.
  • For online retailers, shoppers often become distracted when being made to wait for a page to load. 14 percent will begin shopping elsewhere, and 23 percent will stop shopping altogether.
  • 79 percent of online shoppers who experience a dissatisfying visit are less likely to buy from that site again

These results demonstrate that a poorly performing web site will be damaging not only to a companies reputation, but also to their bottom line.

The Impact

The implications of these stats can be colossal for a small business. Let’s take a hypothetical example using two of the above statistics with a hypothetical small E-commerce site. Let’s pretend it generates £50k of potential revenue every year and expects 25% of its customers to return next year. In reality this figure will depend on its industry sector and factors such as whether it has good follow up procedures in place for dealing with customers.

If the business has a very slow loading website, then it is losing 14% of total potential business, and returning customers are only 79% less than they should be. This will mean over a three year period their revenues will look like-

Year 1 (£50,000 x 0.86) £43,000.00
Year 2 £43,000 + (£43,000 x 0.05) £45,150.00
Year 3 £43,000 + (£45,150 x 0.05) £45,257.50

If this company has a fast loading site, then they would not be losing business and returning customers will be the full 25% every year. This would mean their revenues would be-

Year 1 (£50,000 x 1.00) £50,000.00
Year 2 £50,000 + (£50,000 x 0.25) £62,500.00
Year 3 £50,000 + (£62,500 x 0.25) £65,625.00

So based on the findings from the in-depth research by Forrester Consulting, a small business with a slow loading website could be losing in excess of £40,000 over the course of three years.

This picture is the same whether the company is selling directly online or using the web to generate enquiries. The small factors is web usability can have drastic implications for the success of your business. Please get in touch with Re-Think E-commerce if you are concerned about losing potential revenue from a slow loading time and we’ll happily look at your website load time for no cost and let you know if we think it’s costing you business.

Contact Us for an assessment of your website load times and how it could be improved to increase your web ROI.

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