It seems as though when it comes to the success of retail websites, it’s all about the speed. This is according to a study by Akamai Technologies, which has now appeared in the State of Online Retail Performance report. This speed is what helps customers stay involved and interested in the website and then complete their online transaction, both of which are imperative to the website’s success.

Mere Milliseconds Matter

While online retailers may assume this speed is being measured in minutes or seconds, in reality it has come down to milliseconds. The study showed that should a page take longer than three seconds to load, 53% of people will leave it and not bother to stick around and wait.

Not only that, but a smaller two-second delay will result in a 103% bounce rate. Just a 100 millisecond delay in the load time will have websites seeing a loss of 7% in its conversion rates. These are losses that most retailers aren’t prepared to accept.

It Boils Down to the Attention Span

In looking at the numbers it’s obvious that customers have a very short attention span. In order to complete sales, a website needs to provide the customer with a quick and smooth experience, or that sale is lost.

The study showed that while 50% of consumers use their smartphones to look up products and services they are interested in, a purchase is only made 20% of the time. That’s not exactly a high number. When customers are shopping online it’s just so easy for them to leave and go visit another retailer’s site, something that isn’t so simple when shopping in physical storefronts.

Pull Ahead of the Competition

Because retailers are in constant competition with others, finding ways to stand out and pull ahead is also extremely important. Speed can make your website stand out. If your website offers just 250 milliseconds faster load times over the competition, then statistics show you’ll come out the winner and people will flock to your site instead.

How to Ensure Your Website Meets the Speed Demands

So how can these retail websites ensure that their website is meeting the demands of customers and providing them with the speed they want? It all comes down to their host. The host should offer fast and reliable load times so customers don’t ever have to think about leaving your page and going elsewhere.

Some hosts, such as Certa Hosting, even offer a dedicated hosting package, which is ideal for those e-commerce websites that have high volumes of traffic and a large amount of inventory. You can then take full control of the hosting environment you choose. Customers can even choose from Linux OS, Windows, or VPS cloud hosting.

Start Seeing the Results

For those retail websites who are noticing a drop in traffic and transaction conversion, it may be time to start looking into the speed of the website and determine if it’s up to par.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.