Can slow loading web pages put you out of business? The short answer is yes. The long answer is more complicated, but in the end, it will still be a yes. It doesn’t even matter if you are operating your business solely online. If you have a website, whether it’s an eCommerce store or not, your customers will want to see your web page’s content as soon as they clicked on a link. For them, there is no excuse as to why your page will take more than five seconds to load.
In truth, why is your web page slow to load in the first place? It’s the 21st century. A five-second delay in loading speed happens only in developing countries, but even then, the consumers will most likely get annoyed for having to wait more than three to five seconds for the page to load. There is a strong belief among consumers that the best companies offer the best customer experience and the best customer experience only happens when there is no delay in the loading speed of the page. For it to be otherwise is a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Do a little experiment. Go to your website using a different phone or computer, preferably one that hasn’t opened the site before. Now, open your website and tick off the seconds until you see the homepage. How many seconds did it take? Three? Four? Five? The reason you don’t know you need a core web vital service for your business is that you haven’t opened your own website and you are unaware of how slow it is. Or if you have opened the site, you used the same computer or mobile phone, which means the site is already preloaded in the device’s memory.
Monitor how your patience wavers as the second increases. By the fourth or fifth second, you’re already annoyed at watching the empty screen. Imagine that you have given your website until the fifth second to load and yet you are still annoyed by it. Do you still think the site doesn’t annoy your customers?
The numbers vary, but research suggests that more than 53% of mobile users will click away from your site if it took more than three seconds to load. Yes, three seconds. That’s how impatient people have become because of the instant gratification most websites promise.
What Happened to Consumers?
Of course, consumers weren’t always this crazy about website loading speed. They weren’t even that crazy about websites because they don’t exist back then. But the Internet boom gave consumers plenty of reasons to demand the same instant gratification they get from the websites that they visit. They aren’t just demanding on the internet, but consumers have increasingly demanded better quality of services in brick-and-mortar stores, too. And if they don’t get what they want? You might just find your business being canceled on social media.
Consumers can now form an opinion about your entire business operation based only on the slow loading of your web page. Your company’s website affects what they think of your business. A bad web design, for example, means for them that your business is shady and can’t be trusted. A great web design usually gets more sales and follows on social media.
A slow website is a reflection of your business. For consumers, they cannot expect excellent service from you in person when they couldn’t even get a great customer experience on your website. Forget about how you are good with customers once they meet you. They will not give your business a second chance once you fail in the ultimate test of your commitment to customer satisfaction.
What can they expect from a business that cannot even be bothered to improve the page’s loading speed, after all? Certainly, they will not expect to be treated right when they visit your physical store or office. In their mind, your business has already failed. And remember, it is harder to change customer perception once you failed them than earn the right to impress them for the first time.
No business can justify a slow-loading web page. In today’s time, it is unforgivable. If your website still crashes from time to time, consider what that is doing to your business. Right now, losing old customers and failing to attract new ones all because your web pages don’t load right will be the death of your business. In such a hyper-competitive market, there is no room for error when it comes to customer experience and satisfaction.