Online shopping – it is one of the modern luxuries of technology in this new age. Don’t try to deny your guilty pleasure of casually sifting through the freshly stocked Web pages of your favorite retailer during your lunch break. We’ve all done it before, and rightfully so. No longer are we destined to spend countless hours in long lines, battling for the last item on the shelf or enduring the pasted on smiles of the overworked cashier. When shopping can be as simple as clicking a button, who wouldn’t enjoy it?
Still, the benefits of shopping from your living room in your PJ’s can be negated if its main benefit is compromised with slow response time. A recent survey by an expert cloud communications company reveals that when response time is slow, orders tend to be cancelled. Can you blame them?
Monitis, a company recently acquired by cloud communications company GFI Software, recently revealed the results of a survey that found 56 percent of consumers spending more than two hours per week shopping online cancel their orders when an error occurs or response time is slow – specifically, if the site takes 30 seconds or longer to load, the customer will look elsewhere.
Even worse is that on average, online shopping in the U.S. skyrockets to about 55 percent during the holiday season.
Included in the survey was an exploration of topics such as typical online shopping habits, behaviors when encountering a website not performing properly and factors for selecting an online vendor.
The survey was conducted on Monitis’ behalf by Opinion Matters and included a poll of 1,006 U.S. online shoppers. The results point to a number of different online shopping patterns and pain points consumers encounter when ordering online, which helps eRetailers relying on such information to think beyond the mere operation of their website and focus instead on the strength of their online stores to prevent this unique kind of customer frustration.
Surprisingly, while a number of consumers do rely on cloud communications to conduct their online shopping experience, very few are actually loyal to the companies with which they conduct cyber business. Among online shoppers, 74 percent reported they would switch to a competing vendor if the user experience were better and the performance of the website faster. Speed is so critical, in fact, that frequent online shoppers say they would leave a chosen online vendor if a competitor proved to be faster.
“Simply avoiding downtime is often the primary goal for Web developers and designers when maintaining websites, but as the holiday rush has shifted to online stores, success depends less on the minimum threshold of uptime and more on meeting the various other expectations of shoppers, to keep them coming back,” explained Hovhannes Avoyan, general manager at Monitis, in a company statement. “Consumers turn to online vendors for convenience, so it’s critical that e-retailers ensure a positive shopping experience by focusing on website usability and speed.”
Needless to say, the efficiency of the online shopping experience is crucial, as 81 percent of respondents indicate it is the number one reason they shop online, while for 61 percent, price served as the most important factor.
It’s clear that online shoppers have high expectations regarding their online experience, and if a priority focus isn’t placed on performance, sales can easily suffer during peak operating times.
To learn more about GFI’s offering, visit www.GFI.com.
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