Low Latency are tiny delays that some of us may or may not notice but studies show that they do matter and can greatly affect online sales. Latency in the web development world represent the fraction of a second (or in some cases, several seconds) that affects page load times in the browser. As of the writing of this post, a normal page loads anywhere between 0.5 a second to 10 seconds. Google Webmaster Tools puts the threshold at 1.5 seconds, where any page that loads slower than 1.5 seconds is considered slow and needs improvement.
Here is a compilation of studies and conclusions reported by several large online companies:
- Amazon: every 100ms in latency cost 1% in sales
- Google: an extra 500ms in page generation (latency) dropped traffic by 20%
- Shopzilla: 5 second speedup resulted in 25% pageview increase, 10% increase in revenue, 50% decrease in hardware, and a 120% increase in traffic from Google
- Goldman Sachs: making record profits off of a 500ms speed advantage
- Akamai: 30%-50% of transactions that take over 4 seconds, bail out