Milliseconds Matter: A 0.1 Second Delay Can Hurt Conversions 7%

Shoppers aren’t patient when shopping online: when it comes to load times, even a tenth of a second counts. A 100-millisecond delay (0.1 seconds) in web site load time can hurt conversion rates by as much as 7%, according to a survey from Akamai and SOASTA.

Similarly, a one-second slowdown could negatively impact conversions as much as 22%, while a two-second slowdown could hurt conversions 36.5%.

On average, pages that led to conversions were up to 26% faster than those that did not. Here are the conversion rates of three major device channels:


  • On a desktop, pages that loaded in 1.8 seconds experienced the highest conversion rate (12.8%);

  • On mobile, pages that loaded in 2.7 seconds experienced the highest conversion rate (3.3%); and

  • On tablets, pages that loaded in 1.9 seconds experienced the highest conversion rate (7.2%)

It should be noted that site performance is in a continual game of “catch-up” with user expectations: 2.7 second load times are difficult to achieve on mobile, but increasingly this is what consumers expect.

Mobile Delays Boost Bounce Rates

A two-second delay in web page load time increases bounce rates by 103%. Even for those that stay on these “slow” pages, total session lengths decrease 51%.

On mobile, slow load times can be a total death knell for retailers. A three-second delay drives 53% of all mobile site visitors off the page.

The average bounce rates were highest for mobile phone shoppers (58%), while tablet shoppers had the lowest bounce rate (45%).

It’s clear that the mobile experience may still be cumbersome for shoppers trying to finalize transactions. While 47% of consumers browse for products and services on their smartphones, only 22% complete purchases using those phones.

The data, gathered by SOASTA (now part of Akamai), represents one month’s worth of anonymous user data from top online retailers, equating to approximately 10 billion user visits. The team applied data analytics to generate insights into the intersection of IT, business and user experience metrics.

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