Forget the glitz and make your Web site fast, says Jupiter

When it comes to building a Web site, never mind the bells and whistles, the rich media and the wireless handset delivery. Instead, concentrate on your customers’ need for speed, said a report released Monday by technology researcher Jupiter Media Metrix Inc.

According to Jupiter’s latest consumer survey, conducted in June, 40 per cent of consumers would visit a content site more often if its pages loaded faster. In contrast, only 20 per cent of those surveyed said that they would be inclined to visit a site more often if it added a richer media experience.

Besides wanting faster loading times, 36 per cent of customers would be more likely to visit a site with customized layout and 31 per cent would be lured to a site more often by polling or chat capabilities, Jupiter reported.

Only 15 per cent of those polled would be more likely to visit a site that delivered information to wireless handsets and other non-PC devices, however.

As for online shoppers, the Jupiter survey indicated that 59 per cent of those surveyed said that more product information was important to them, and 28 per cent said that product suggestions would be helpful. And once again, 26 per cent of online shoppers were looking for faster page loading times. Only 12 per cent of respondents said that enabling mobile commerce is important to them.

All of this means that businesses should get back to basics and address the core needs of their customers, Jupiter analysts said. This is especially important in the current economic climate, they added, when customer satisfaction can be make or break for a business.

Jupiter’s data was derived from polling 2,194 individuals through an online survey.

Jupiter Media Metrix, in New York City, can be reached at