Most e-commerce sites 'disturbingly slow'

Laptop online shopping
On average, it takes 9.5 seconds for a site to load on mobile, 16.6 seconds on a desktop.

Slow internet load times could be costing retailers potential customers. The rule of thumb for e-commerce is that if it takes more than three seconds to load, retailers risk losing a consumer from their site. Of the 80 retailers looked at for a recent study by Retail Systems Research (RSR), it took an average of 9.5 seconds for a website to load on mobile and 16.6 seconds to load on desktop. And according to previous studies, every second slower of load time is equal to another 7% of conversion loss. 

Also, the study found that each retailer had, on average, 70, third-party e-commerce applications on their website. These third-party partners require hundreds of pages, and 50% to 75% of the time required to load a page was spent waiting on third parties.

In addition, many of the retail sites tested by RSR featured content—usually images—that would not even load. This included one retailer whose entire site was totally unavailable.

“The findings of the latest report from RSR confirm two things. One is that web performance impacts online conversion. The second is that most e-commerce sites today are, to quote the report, ‘disturbingly slow.' The findings from this report validate Yottaa’s mission to help online retailers improve performance up to 60% and increase conversions up to 20%,” said Rich Stendardo, CEO of Yottaa, a leading Cloud platform for accelerating e-commerce

According to Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR, retailers often focus on cramming more and more capabilities into sites, no matter what impact that has on performance.

"In today's competitive market, retailers cannot afford to make these trade-offs," Baird said. "Our report found there is a lot of room for retailers to improve performance and, by doing so, open up new opportunities to make digital channels truly differentiating and engaging at the same time."