Slow Websites Kill Big Sales
August 06, 2018

Antony Edwards
Eggplant

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It may be the dog days of summer for most, but retailers are already busy prepping to avoid an Amazon Prime type meltdown during the holiday shopping season. However, rather than focusing efforts on coping with surges in traffic to your website, you also need to be thinking about the ongoing speed of your site.

80% find a consistently slow-running website more frustrating than one that is down

A recent YouGov poll commissioned by Eggplant explored attitudes to website speed and performance and found that speed was critical to consumers in both the US and UK. In a poll of 3,200 adults in the UK and USA, eight out of 10 adults (80%) find a consistently slow-running website more frustrating than one that is down. Indeed, 73 percent stated they would be likely to try an alternative website if the one they were using was slow.

The poll identified that slow websites frustrate 60% of consumers compared to a site that is down (23%).

There were some slight variances in the results from the US and UK consumers, but the overall sentiment was the same: slow websites will not be tolerated.

While outages are a problem for businesses around the world, the survey reveals that a slow website is much more damaging than one that is temporarily down. To stay competitive and retain customers, businesses must focus on website speed alongside website availability.

US Findings

■ 79% of Americans find a slow running website more frustrating to use than one that is down or not working.

■ 41% of American consumers rate website speed as very important when it comes to online activity.

■ 69% of Americans would move to a competitor if a site was slow.

■ When it comes to American consumers, site speed is so essential that well over half (59%) feel much more negative to a brand if its site is consistently slow to load. This is in contrast to less than a quarter (23%) who feel the same way if a site was temporarily down or not working.

■ To provide context 24% of US consumers stated they would eat less than half a donut before giving up on a website and moving to another.

UK Findings

■ 81% of Brits find a slow website more frustrating to use than one that is down or not working.

■ 70% of UK adults rate website speed as important when it comes to online activity.

■ 75% of Brits would be likely to use a competitor website if the one they were using was slow. This is especially important for brands who commoditize based entirely on price such as tickets, hotel, and travel sites.

■ 60% feel much more negative to a brand if its website is consistently slow to load compared to 23% who feel the same way if a site is down or not working.

It's clear from the poll that in the eyes of consumers a fast, responsive, website is critical. It is no longer simply enough for sites to be available, to make the most of the holiday traffic surges brands need to ensure a fast experience. By focusing on speed, it will help maximize conversions and enhance a brands reputation. It appears from the data that speed has the potential to kill websites!

Antony Edwards is CTO of Eggplant
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