The Urgency for Speed in 2019:
Sarah Gooding, Communications and PR Manager at Unbounce
We’ve all experienced a slow web page. We’ve felt the frustration that builds for every second that little icon continues to spin.
We all know the feeling: We want that page open, and we want it open NOW.
As consumers, we expect to be able to browse the web, buy products, and find the answers to our questions quickly — and instantaneously would be even better. Unfortunately, this expectation is often unmet. In 2019 the average size of a webpage has ballooned, and with it, the length of time consumers have to wait for a page to open. Things are even slower on smartphones. The average web page has doubled in size over the past 3 years, so consumers now wait an average of 15 seconds for a mobile page to load.
So, when it comes to keeping customers happy, page speed matters — slow pages create an awful experience and lead to fewer purchases. But while we know it matters, we don’t really know why it matters (or to what degree). We also don’t know which types of people are particularly bothered by these lagging pages. Or which environments provoke more impatience than others. We also don’t know how consumers behave when they come across a slow site. And behind the scenes, we still want to know how companies are prioritizing page speed…or why they’re not?
To get to the bottom of some of these questions, Unbounce asked 1150 consumers and marketers across the U.S. and Canada in two separate surveys about their sentiment and behaviors towards page speed in 2019.
Here are eight key findings from Unbounce’s 2019 Page Speed Report that start to dig deeper into the questions above:
59 percent of consumers say they won’t wait longer than 6 seconds for a page to load
We asked 750 everyday people about how long they’ll wait for a web page to load and almost 60 percent said they won’t last more than 6 seconds. But that’s not what Google claims — actual user behavior shows most people bounce after 3 seconds. Turns out consumers think they’re a bit more patient than they really are.
Android users are more patient than iOS users
Speaking of patience, when Android users experience a slow site, they say they’ll wait longer than their iOS friends. Of those who will wait for 1 to 3 seconds for a page to load, 64 percent were iOS users and only 36 percent were Android users. Whereas for those who said they’d wait 11–13 seconds, only 36.2 percent were iOS users versus 61.3 percent Android users. (And since iOS accounts for 65 percent of cellphones in the U.S., it appears impatience may be the norm.)
45 percent of consumers admit that a slow site decreases their willingness to buy
When it comes to browsing ecommerce sites, consumers place a high premium on speed. 45 percent of people are less likely to make a purchase and 36.8 percent are less likely to return to the website in the future. 12 percent of consumers will even tell a friend when they experience the frustration of a slow loading site.
Millennials have much shorter attention spans on their mobile devices than they do on their computers
It’s no surprise that millennials crave instant gratification, but they’re especially impatient when they’re on their phones. 45 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds say they’ll wait between 4 and 6 seconds on their computers, but only 26 percent of this age group will wait that long on a cellphone.
East Coasters are less likely to buy from slow sites compared to their West Coast counterparts
Turns out the stereotypes are true — perpetually on-the-go New Yorkers are less likely to buy from a slow site than their laid back friends in California.
Of the consumers living in New York State, 82 percent admit that speed influences their decision to make a purchase, while of those living in the state of California only 60 percent agree that page speed influences their buying decisions.
More than 50 percent of consumers say they’d be willing to give up animations and video for faster loading times
Consumers love beautiful animations and videos, right?? Turns out a slim majority of visitors don’t see much value in them if they’re going to slow down a web page. In fact, a quarter of consumers say they’d be willing to give up images as well!
Young women expect more from ecommerce sites
Far more young women between the ages of 18 and 24 years say they’ll close a tab and stop shopping when they experience a slow site (compared to men of the same age). In this age bracket, 86 percent of women (compared to 14 percent of men) said they’re less likely to buy from a slow website.
Most consumers blame their internet connection on slow loading times (before they blame websites)
Most people credit speed on factors outside of a site owner’s control (like their internet provider). However as more people discover how often slow pages are the culprit, it’s likely those slow sites will shoulder more of the blame.
As you can see fast pages are certainly critical for companies — consumers are much less likely to purchase from a slow website and much more likely to check out a competitor’s site when they encounter a lagging page. But fast pages aren’t just important for usability and conversions. Andy Crestodina, the founder of Orbit Media, recently reminded us that there’s more to it than that — fast pages are also important for the environment, slow connections in developing countries, and overall keeping the internet working efficiently and of course, quickly.
Unbounce ran two online surveys leveraging online consumers via Google Surveys and marketers via the Typeform survey platform. The online consumer study surveyed 750 respondents over the age of 18 years old across Canada and the U.S. about their online habits and sentiment towards slow pages on web and mobile. The marketer study surveyed 450 respondents who work in marketing and/or lead teams in marketing in Canada, the U.S. and Germany. We asked these respondents about how they’re prioritizing page speed and their knowledge of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Both surveys were fielded in October and November 2018.