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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 16, 2009

More research demonstrates e-tailers' need for speed

British consumers will sidestep brand loyalty or preferred retailers in favor of speedier websites, according to the new Seasonal Web Sales study from web hosting provider Fasthosts Internet.

by Helen Leggatt

fasthosts logo.gifWhen British consumers shop online, they don't expect a virtual queue and, for many, it's a turn off. Yet, according to Fasthosts study of 1,500 consumers in the U.K., 80% encounter slow websites around Christmas and 30% believe websites perform poorly in the run up to Christmas.

The poor performance consumers experienced ranged from slow product searches, delayed payment processes and delays in receiving email confirmations.

"The data shows that whilst many firms sell successfully online, usability can take a real knock at the most crucial time of the year," said Fasthosts' Steve Holford

"Shoppers today are more impatient and unforgiving than ever before, and are ready to source an alternative. Retailers must ensure that their hosting responds dynamically with increases in demand or they will lose revenue and reputation".

In fact, the study found that around one in three shoppers (34%) said they would be more likely to abandon a slow-running ecommerce website at Christmas than at other times of the year and 28% of shoppers admit to feeling more negative towards retailers as a result.

So, exactly how much patience does an online shopper have? Very little, according to the results of an Akamai/Forrester study. It found that online shoppers expect to wait no more than 2 seconds for a page to load. In fact, 40% would wait no more than three seconds before abandoning the site altogether.

Tags: e-commerce, load time, online retailers, online shopping, page load, website speed

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