UPDATE: Everything you wanted to know about web performance but were afraid to ask

I’m cleaning out my old bookmarks and rediscovered a Forrester report from earlier this year, The Impact of Poor Web Site Performance in Financial Services. I’ve added the following key bits of data to my performance stats cheat sheet:

  • No activity on the web approaches the frequency of online account access.
  • Web site performance is second only to security in user expectations. Web site performance ranks above even functions like single sign-on or a website that is easy to use.
  • 56% of online bankers and brokers expect web pages to load in 2 seconds or less; this is far above the 47% of consumers who are just shopping online.
  • Poor website performance leads to dissatisfaction more often than any other factor. Sixty-four percent of online US bankers and brokers have had a dissatisfying experience when servicing their accounts. Web performance is far and away the biggest reason for this dissatisfaction.
  • As online tasks get more urgent or complex, online users are less likely to try later and more likely to move to more expensive channels to complete the transactions. Fifty-six percent of online bankers would move to offline channels to ask a general account question; 54% of online brokers would move to offline channels to trade investments if the website was unavailable or slow to respond.
  • The ultimate effect of poor performance is a decrease in willingness to recommend a firm, with 48% of online bankers and brokers saying that poor performance had an impact or significant impact on their likeliness to recommend a firm’s services to a friend or family member.

Also, in the time since I started creating this post, Gomez released a new commissioned report called When Seconds Count. It says that:

  • Nearly one-third (32 percent) of consumers will start abandoning slow sites between one and five seconds.
  • 39% say speed is more important than functionality for most websites, while only one in five rank greater site functionality as more important.
  • More than half of mobile users expect websites to load as quickly, almost as quickly or faster on their mobile phone, compared to the computer they use at home.
  • More than a third of mobile users (37%) said they would not return to a slow site, and 27 percent would likely jump to a competitor’s site.

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