It found that one-third of those questioned abandon sites that take time to load, are hard to navigate or take too long to handle the checkout process.
The four-second threshold is half the time previous research, conducted during the early days of the web-shopping boom, suggested that shoppers would wait for a site to finish loading.
To make matters worse, the research found that the experience shoppers have on a retail site colours their entire view of the company behind it.
While I would generally agree with the research that a bad site reflects on a company, I would say that a bad website is an indicator, how hard is it to get a good one? I use that as a rule of thumb when using companies I haven't used before. I'd also say the four second rule was rubbish, if I'm on a site I want to buy something from chances are it took a lot of research to get there or I've used them before and I'm prepared to wait knowing page loading problems do occur.
The difference comes when there are two companies, both selling the same item for the same price, that's when I go with the site that is easier to use provided their service is up to scratch, but that rarely happens.