The dawdling days of dial-up are all but consigned to the history books, and now it seems that expectations for high-speed Internet access on tap are sky-high.
A new study suggests that 38% of online shoppers abandon websites or apps that take more than 10 seconds to load, which is timely news as we fast-approach the busy Christmas season when it’s thought £6.85bn will be spent online in the UK.
The study was commissioned by cloud-computing company Rackspace, and it surveyed 2,000 UK adults aged 18 years-old and over across the UK in October. It also showed that from the 38% that jump ship after 10 seconds, almost half of them (45%) turn to the competition to make their purchases, which certainly makes sense.
With eBay and Amazon already predicting their busiest day in the build-up to Christmas, and London’s Oxford Street gearing up for an e-Christmas as we reported last week, it’s probably little surprise that mobile will play a big part in the Christmas shopping this year, with over a quarter of those seeking discounts planning on using mobile app voucher codes, and a fifth of shoppers planning to use their smartphone in-store to scan a product’s barcode to compare prices online before actually buying a product.
Rackspace’s research indicates that e-commerce and m-commerce will grow dramatically this Christmas compared to last year, with 90% of those surveyed planning to purchase at least some of their presents online for Christmas, an 18% increase on last year, representing 8.7m more people. M-commerce is set to grow too, with almost a quarter indicating that they would buy a Christmas present using a smartphone or tablet, representing a 6% increase on last year.
So, how worried should retailers be about that 10-second timeframe? A quick check of the major online retailers such as Amazon reveal that their websites typically load within a couple of seconds from a computer on a standard 12Mbps broadband connection. And what about mobile? Slightly slower. As Internet Retailer reported earlier this year, whilst Sears Holdings Corp. came in first on the m-commerce speed index with a homepage load-time of 3.39 seconds, the average load time for the 30 retailers on the index was 10.87 seconds, which is just over the threshold.
So if you’re impatient, you’re best doing your shopping from a computer rather than a mobile. But then again, we knew that already, right?