A Nielsen Onlin' />

Sometimes it seems as though you could make a cup of tea and grab a couple of bikkies and still come back to a "loading" webpage.

A Nielsen Online study - looking at the discrepancies in download times for major retail home pages - has found that some "new" pages took almost 10 seconds to download.

Retailers including The Warehouse, Whitcoulls, Noel Leeming and Trade Me were among those in the survey, which found that the average response time during February was 5.4 seconds.

Noel Leeming, which came in at a time of 9.57 seconds, was the slowest.

The Whitcoulls home page was second slowest, taking 8.42 seconds to download items.

The fastest response time - at 1.6 seconds - was shopping site www.1day.co.nz.

Noel Leeming management said the slow loading time to their website was a result of increased traffic to the site.

Marketing manager Brodie Lawry said there had been a large increase in the number of visitors and a new server was due to start by late March or early April.

"We are not particularly disappointed in the [loading] time, because we are making improvements as a direct result of the increased traffic."

The country's most popular website Trade Me came in below the average loading time at 4.24 seconds, but management said it could do better.

Trade Me spokesman Mike O'Donnell said: "Am I happy with 4.24 seconds? No. Loading time is absolutely critical, and we are always looking to be faster."

The accessibility and viability of a website is a key business success metric, Nielsen Online general manager Ivan Fuyala said.

"If consumers can't reach you quickly online, it won't take long before they start looking to competitors instead."

- ADDITIONAL REPORTING: Isaac Davison