Hidden in this Forbes article about Amazon.com is a disturbing metric, particularly disturbing if you consider it in any detail. The metric:
Even the tiniest delay in loading a Web page isn’t trivial. Amazon has metrics showing that a 0.1 second delay in page rendering can translate into a 1% drop in customer activity.
Why is this particularly disturbing? Customers go to Amazon to buy. What is that slow page low time doing to your site’s visitors whose attachment and commitment to your site might be much lower?
By the way, you are doing your performance testing from outside the corporate network to get a feel for the load times on the actual Internet, aren’t you? I’d feel a little silly asking it, except I am a seasoned QA consultant. You might not be.