Time is money and waiting for web pages to load is lost time and lost revenue. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that a one-second delay in response time reduced page views by 11%, conversions by 7%, and customer satisfaction by 16%.1 The fact is, asking people to wait is asking them to leave — possibly forever.
People are impatient
A 2009 study by Forrester Research for Akamai looked extensively at consumer behavior when faced with slow websites. Based on responses from 1,048 online shoppers, the study found that 52% tied their loyalty to a fast-loading page. That was up 12% from 2006. A full 23% will walk away from their computer while waiting for a page to load, and 14% will begin shopping at a competitor.2 The trend will likely continue into 2013 as customers demand faster loading pages.
US Markerboard shaves off six seconds
Pages took an average of nine seconds to load at US Markerboard, an e-commerce website selling whiteboards and other office supplies. As the company had grown, so had the website’s size and complexity.
CEO Scott Newman noticed several areas where the site’s performance was affecting sales. “Our load times weren’t the worst in the world, but there was plenty of room for improvement,” he says “Optimizing our site’s performance [would] improve a lot of key business metrics, including increasing average order value and reducing cost per order for entering orders into the system.”
“For US Markerboard the results were immediate and compelling. Page load times dropped from nine seconds to just three seconds. Page views increased 27%, while conversion rates increased by a staggering 25%.”
Riverbed SteelApp Web Accelerator software is a better solution
After extensive research, US Markerboard installed SteelApp™ Web Accelerator software on its website. The software optimizes web content by merging and compressing files and adjusting layout, all to reduce the number and size of the web resources. Intelligent caching techniques improve performance on subsequent visits without the risk of serving stale pages.
For US Markerboard the results were immediate and compelling. Page load times dropped from nine seconds to just three seconds. Page views increased 27%, while conversion rates increased by a staggering 25%.
Most importantly for the online retailer, the number of products ordered increased by 65% after SteelApp Web Accelerator began working its magic, and the average order value increased by 15%. “This is a huge number,” says Newman. (See more about this solution.)
Microsoft SharePoint: You have the right to be fast
The impatience factor applies equally to company-wide SharePoint deployments, which can be slow without the right tools. For example, employees at Golder Associates who worked far from the company’s Washington-based headquarters had trouble downloading pages from SharePoint.
“Users in Johannesburg, South Africa, had to wait almost a minute for a certain custom SharePoint page to load,” says Andrew Osterbeck, an enterprise infrastructure architect at Golder. “We had similar situations in Asia and Australia — anywhere that users had high-latency, low-bandwidth connections.”
The company set a goal of SharePoint pages loading in seven seconds or less, and ideally three to four seconds, for all users regardless of location. To accomplish that goal, the company installed SteelApp Web Accelerator software to complement its existing Riverbed SteelHead™ appliances.
The results were exceptional. A page that once took 55 seconds to download in Johannesburg now took only 15 seconds for the first view, and just several seconds for subsequent views. (See more about this solution.)
Think your website is fast? Prove it!
Is your website fast enough? Find out for yourself with the FREE SteelApp Web Accelerator Site Analyzer. This handy tool lets you compare how your site will perform with and without SteelApp Web Accelerator installed:
1. “The Performance of Web Applications: Customers Are Won or Lost in One Second” Nov. 2008, Aberdeen Group
2. “Akamai Reveals Two Seconds as the New Threshold of Acceptability for e-Commerce Web Page Response Times” (Akamai, Sept. 14, 2009)