E-commerce website speed still lags behind user expectations:
Report finds that average retail site takes 10 seconds to load
Nike, JCPenney, and Amazon emerge as speed leaders in annual year-end survey
of top 2,000 retail sites
VANCOUVER, B.C. – January 25, 2012 – The average e-commerce website takes 10 seconds to load, web pages are getting bigger, and Internet Explorer 9 outperforms other browsers. These were the findings of the 2012 Annual State of the Union: E-Commerce Page Speed and Website Performance, the second annual report published by site acceleration leader Strangeloop Networks.
“Site speed is a constantly moving target,” said Jonathan Bixby, CEO, Strangeloop Networks. “We’re always hearing numbers from one-off reports, but trying to compare these reports is an apples-and-oranges exercise. Our goal in conducting these annual surveys is to establish a baseline across a large set of sites, then measure these sites every year and revisit that baseline. By doing this, we can identify changes and trends that will be useful to site owners and the web performance community at large.”
The survey used WebPagetest – a third-party tool that measures page load times from a real user’s perspective – to test each site’s home page via the WebPagetest server in Dulles, VA, as the site would appear to a visitor using the following browsers on DSL: Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 7, and Chrome.
The report reveals seven key findings, including:
- The average site is 10% faster now than it was one year ago. While this is encouraging, it is far from the ideal load time of 2 seconds, as identified by decades of research into human-computer interaction. Research has found that 57% of site visitors will abandon a page after waiting 3 seconds for it to load.
- Web pages are getting bigger, year after year. The average home page contains 98 page objects, a 13% increase from last year. In 1995, the average page contained just 2.3 objects.
- Internet Explorer 9 outperformed other browsers. Pages loaded 4-5% faster in IE9 than they did in Firefox and Chrome.
“The question everyone should be asking is: what do these findings mean for me and my site?” said Bixby. “The key takeaway here is that the pursuit of faster websites is a neverending race. As pages continue to grow in size and complexity, many site owners are barely managing to stay ahead. Newer browsers help somewhat – as does using a content delivery network to cache your content closer to your visitors – but only somewhat. Site owners who want to do more than keep their heads above water need to expand their acceleration toolkit.”
Download the free report: 2012 Annual State of the Union: E-Commerce Page Speed and Website Performance
Strangeloop is the leader in providing next-generation front-end optimization (FEO) solutions. Companies like Visa, and Petco rely on Strangeloop solutions to speed up their websites and enterprise applications. The earliest entrant in the FEO space, Strangeloop was the first company to market an automated solution – the Strangeloop Site Optimizer – with the ability to tackle front-end performance problems as a service via the cloud. The Strangeloop Mobile Site Optimizer is the only advanced optimization solution that addresses the unique challenges of delivering faster sites to mobile users. Strangeloop is based in Vancouver, BC. For more information, visit www.strangeloopnetworks.com.
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