4 Seconds Is All You Got

Four seconds is the maximum length of time an average online shopper will wait for a Web page to load before potentially abandoning a retail site. This is one of several key findings revealed in a report made available today by Akamai Technologies, Inc., commissioned through JupiterResearch, that examines consumer reaction to a poor online shopping experience.

Based on the feedback of 1,058 online shoppers that were surveyed during the first half of 2006, JupiterResearch offers the following analysis:

  • The consequences for an online retailer whose site underperforms include diminished goodwill, negative brand perception, and, most important, significant loss in overall sales.
  • Online shopper loyalty is contingent upon quick page loading, especially for high-spending shoppers and those with greater tenure.
  • JupiterResearch recommends that retailers make every effort to keep page rendering to no longer than four seconds.

Additional findings in the report show that more than one-third of shoppers with a poor experience abandoned the site entirely, while 75 percent were likely not to shop on that site again. These results demonstrate that a poorly performing website can be damaging to a company’s reputation; according to the survey, nearly 30 percent of dissatisfied customers will either develop a negative perception of the company or tell their friends and family about the experience.

Hopefully, this blog post loads in less than four seconds or you may never visit this blog again.

13 thoughts on “4 Seconds Is All You Got”

  1. HMTKSteve says:

    I have to wonder if Google takes this into consideration when they judge if a click was fraudulent or not…

  2. Ian says:

    Hmmm, a report that viewers don’t wait long for sites, commissioned by a company that provides fast bandwidth/mirroring? Pardon me if I lack any surprise at that… 🙂

  3. Gary says:

    Was it just me or was your site down?

    That’s what happens when you anoy the server gods 🙂

  4. Eli Burford says:

    Don’t you think it depends on their internet speed?

  5. JuanFlaiter says:

    That´s why I don´t longer buy at Newegg, ZZF is much faster. Once you know, and you have time to wait, you Newegg… Sorry I don´t have time to bleed 😀

  6. David Mackey says:

    Time has really shortened for people’s patience on websites loading – back in the dialup days it was something like 10 seconds before something had to start loading!

  7. Derrich says:

    4 seconds, the 3 click rule…*sigh*. So many rules to follow.

  8. John Chow says:

    Gary – The server didn’t came back on the reboot. I had to call NetNation and ask them to manually bring it back up. They took their sweet ass time to do it.

  9. What is the 3 click rule?

  10. Pingback: 4 Seconds
  11. Justin says:


    The principle that it should take no more than 3 clicks to access any feature, content or each logical step in a process.

  12. Thanks for the info!

  13. Sprachreisen says:

    I think this behaviour of cutting the waiting time by 50% since the last survey is due to the faster web access we all have today. 4 Seconds were considered really fast 5 years ago, but today it seems to be too slow.
    Anyway, my pages pop up under a second and even on dialup it is below 3 seconds. But they are not overloaded with graphics.

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