A survey of 2,033 consumers conducted by Hostway and Zeus Technology has found that, on average, they had each abandoned 5.5 online transactions over the last 12 months due to the poor performance of the website.
"Last year UK retail consumers spent £38bn online, yet it is clear that many people still have frustrations when shopping online," says Hostway's Neil Barton. "The research revealed that over two thirds of the respondents were wasting on average up to two and a half days a year reloading or waiting for web pages to load properly. With many of today's websites containing a lot more multimedia content, it is important that consumers receive a good online experience otherwise they may simply abandon their transaction."
The research also revealed that 82% of consumers now say that, if a business' website performed badly, it would dissuade them from buying goods from that organisation on the web or in store.
70% of the people surveyed said they were frustrated by how long it takes many websites to load images, and by the stop-start nature of multimedia web content. When asked what was the biggest user frustration when visiting websites, 'web pages taking too long to load' (46%) was cited at the biggest complaint. This was followed by 'online advertising' (24%), 'poor website navigation' (16%) and 'bad web links' (13%).
The research also revealed that the majority of consumers believed customer loyalty should dictate the online experience they receive on certain websites. 71% stated that if they regularly purchase goods from a particular website they should be rewarded with a better web experience than those people who are just browsing.
"Online traffic will continue to grow, so it's important that retailers ensure that their websites are scalable enough to cope with large visitor numbers and large amounts of multimedia content," adds Zeus Technology's Graham Moore. "The latest traffic management solutions can help ensure that retailers are able to provide the best possible online experience, even allowing them to inspect and route traffic based on visitor type and profile."