Almost half of users abandon websites that take three seconds to load
Speed of travel websites is vitally important for regular business travellers. They don’t want to spend as much time booking flights, hotels and other essentials as they actually spend travelling. With online travel bookings expected to rise to $284 billion in 2011 from $256 billion last year, airlines, hotels and OTAs need to make their websites as friendly, easy and fast as possible. Many are succeeding with the consumer-friendly aspect, but failing with the speed.
USA Today commissioned a study that found that many travel-related homepages take more than two seconds to load. That’s significant because almost half of users claim that they abandon websites that take three seconds or more to load. Marriott, the fastest performing hotel booking website, says that it could lose more than $800,000 an hour if its website wasn’t running. For web transactions on US airline websites, Delta ranks the fastest (five seconds to complete the steps before a client finalises a booking), US Airways the slowest (27 seconds).
[pictured: Apple iPad with magnetic “smart cover”]