New research reveals current stats on eCommerce page performance

March 21, 2014 Written by NetSphere Category: User Experience

Let’s face it. Although there are tons of surveys and research projects focused on issues prevalent to the eCommerce community, there aren’t a lot that drill down on website page performance. That lack of insight has led numerous individuals to continue to reference outdated studies, like the one conducted by Akamai in 2009.

Five years ago, when Akamai reported that 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, the eCommerce environment was much different than it is today. Regardless, some online retail companies are still holding firm to those stats, such as the idea that 40 percent of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

But as it turns out, only 5 percent of today’s top 500 U.S. eCommerce sites load in 3 seconds, and none load in 2 seconds. In fact, 50 percent take 10 seconds or longer to load. This is according to fresh insight revealed in a new Radware study that was released in February of 2014.

In addition to providing up-to-date statistics, Radware’s findings explain the slowdown – much of which is attributed to a major uptick in web page components. Back in January 2009, the average size of a web page was 500 KB, which is three times smaller than it is today.

Furthermore, there are 50 percent more requests now to load images, Javascript and CSS files compared to requests made in 2009. The current trend shows that pages are becoming more complex. Page sizes are larger, the number of components to fill out a page are higher and as a result, pages take longer to load today than in 2009 because of their bigger footprint.

The dramatic change in website composition has been the result of various factors. Customer demand for advanced site features is, of course, one attributing factor, but more sophisticated technologies is also a driver. Taking these modern circumstances into consideration, business owners must be more diligent in terms of employing site optimization practices. And although many sites are taking concerted efforts toward improving page performance, more can be done.

“In spring 2013, 74 percent of the top 100 ecommerce sites used a content delivery network (CDN): this number has grown to 80 percent,” explained the team at Radware. “Keep-alives have plateaued at a 93 percent implementation rate. Image compression is still not widely adopted: implementation rate continues to stand at 9 percent. While the adoption rate of long-standing best practices has not increased significantly, findings revealed that the use of progressive JPEGs, a practice that had fallen out of favor but is now on the upswing, has increased from 6 percent to 10 percent.”

For online store owners who feel stymied in the pursuit of improving their website page performance, NetSphere Strategies hosted a webcast that addressed the tenets of performance tuning. That video is shown above. To go beyond in-house optimization activities, contact the eCommerce experts at NetSphere Strategies who would be happy to assess – and improve – your current situation.   

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Abbe Miller is the marketing manager at NetSphere Strategies, located just outside Chicago. NetSphere Strategies is a boutique eCommerce company positioned to help businesses transform their online presence by providing a full complement of services that starts with our strategic consulting and creative design teams, then continues with building innovative solutions and providing ongoing post-project support.