We’ve all been there. You whip out your smartphone when you’re on the fly, and are desperately searching for that train timetable, or doing a quick bit of research before an important interview. Perhaps you’re about to get those tickets that were just released or that item of clothing you’ve had your eye on.
Either way, you get to the website, and you find yourself waiting.
… and waiting.
Page load is one of the most incredibly frustrating events of the times. But from a business perspective, that waiting time can have an even grave impact on your bottom line.
The Three Factors
There are a wealth of experts out there talking about what makes an excellent webpage. Few will talk about Flash (foolishly), whilst others will talk about the necessity of infographics, or you may even hear the trending words ‘content is king’, or any other number of website additions that are supposedly “crucial”. However, there is a list that most (if not all) experts agree is essential for a successful website.
This list includes:
- Findable by Google.
- User friendly.
- Fast & Responsive.
Whilst a failure to implement any of the above in a website is going to cause massive problems, it is the failure to load and respond quickly, correctly or at all that has surprisingly stark punishments. Some say fast & responsive is User Friendly but often it slips under the radar if placed in that box. So keep them separate!
The Two Second Rule
For better or for worse, we are living in a world where everyone expects information immediately. This has led to some unreasonable expectations, with 58% of people expecting that their phone would load at least as fast as their laptop or desktop, or even faster. However unreasonable as these expectations may be, most people are lenient – they have a two second grace period.
That means for the majority of people (up to 97%), your website has 2 seconds to load perfectly.
This applies for both mobile devices and desktops equally.
The cost for breaching this 2-second-load-time is steep:
For every 1 second beyond that 2 second grace period, you lose 7% of customers.
This means that if your website takes 4 seconds to load (2 seconds over the grace period), you would have lost 13.51% of your customers. This could simply kill you as a business – imagine a physical store scenario where you, as a shopkeeper, completely ignored a customer and took your time setting up shop while they were furiously knocking on the door.
You can stand outside, but you can’t come in! It isn’t a good look.
Furthermore, even a 1 second delay in loading (3 second page loading time) decreased customer satisfaction by a staggering 16% – and 44% of customers are willing to tell their friends about a poor loading or webpage experience. As a business, you have to make it a priority. The worst part, is if your site was slow and you fixed it, customers who were previously burnt by your page loading speed often won’t be able recall why they recoil whenever they see your brand name.
This applies to both mobile devices and desktops – so don’t think that because your site may be quick and responsive on desktop that you’re exempt from the wrath of the impatient and disappointed customer.
Do You Know Your Stats?
As an online business owner, it is crucial that you are aware of these three factors that significantly contribute to a well functioning website. When it comes to loading speed and responsiveness, not only are there potential costs insofar as customer experience, but there are actual, tangible impacts to your bottom line.
Don’t lose money over the fact that your website takes a long time to load – get onto that now! Here are two free websites that allow you to check your site speed.
For more useful tools go to: website-tools.net