Half of all shoppers will cancel an online order due to slow response, poll finds

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More than half – 56% – of consumers who spend more than two hours per week shopping online have cancelled an order due to an error or slow response time, according to new research from leading cloud and web application monitoring software provider, Monitis.

The survey also explored typical online shopping habits, factors considered when choosing an online vendor, and behaviour when confronted with retail websites that are not functioning correctly.

The independent survey, which polled 1,006 online shoppers, was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of Monitis. The results highlight a number of common online shopping patterns and uncover the major pain points consumers have when ordering online, researchers found. As the holiday shopping season approaches – with Cyber Monday on the horizon on 26 November 2012 – this insight can be used to help e-retailers think beyond simply ensuring their websites are up, moving towards assessing how effectively they are able to do business and putting more focus on strengthening the aspects of their online stores that will prevent customer and transaction losses resulting from sub-optimal performance and customer experience

Vendor loyalty scarce online

Almost three-quarters (74%) of all online shoppers said they would switch to a competing online vendor if they could find a better user experience and faster website than the one they currently use. Frequent online shoppers are even less tolerant of slow e-retail websites. 86% of consumers who spend two or more hours shopping each week say they would abandon their chosen online vendor if they found a faster competitor.

Other key findings from the survey include:

·         81% of all respondents listed convenience as the number one reason for choosing to shop online rather than making purchases at brick and mortar stores, while only 61% say price is the most important factor

·         More than half of all respondents (56%) also indicated website usability is an important factor when comparing one retail website to another, coming in just behind price and reputation

·         61% of all online shoppers would leave a web page and search for a competing vendor if it took longer than 30 seconds to load

·         The most popular time to shop online (40% of all respondents) is actually during typical 9am to 5pm work hours while the next largest group (32%) of online shoppers typically shops in the early evening between 5pm and 8pm.

“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,” said Hovhannes Avoyan, general manager at Monitis.

“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.”