Something everyone in B2C (and B2smallB) should think about: according to stats published on TeleChoice's xDSL news site
, just 3.33 million DSL lines are in use in America right now and only 780,000 are in use in Canada.
This means, fewer than 3% of Americans have DSL access. And only about 7% more have another kind of high speed access such as cable modem. So, although 58% of the US population with online access, just 10% can download stuff with the kind of speed most of us are used to at the office. Which means most Web designers and marketers aren't seeing their sites load in the way to end user does, so they may not take speed into account the way they should.
Personally I was trapped for the weekend recently at a house that only had 56k, and I thought I would die or something. But it also made me think real hard about site design for the average consumer's bandwidth. Is your site too "fat" for consumers online? Check out Byte Level Research
. They measure eretail and fashion sites to see if they are losing sales by being too slow to load. Very useful info.