Today – 12 November 2013 – is forecast to be the busiest online browsing day ahead of the traditional Christmas shopping period and Cyber Monday (2 December 2013), according to application performance company, Riverbed Technology, and it is advising retailers on how to prepare.
Riverbed polled 3,000 shoppers across UK, France and Germany and found consumers start browsing online for presents and researching gifts up to three weeks in advance of making a purchase. This acts as a timely reminder to online retailers that websites must be fully optimised, load-tested and deliver a quality user experience at all times – not just during the busiest transactional periods in December.
According to the research, the busiest browsing days pre-Christmas based on type of product are:
- 10 November: Home furniture/goods
- 12 November: Christmas presents in general
- 15 November: Electronic appliances
- 17 November: Jewellery
- 19 November: Toys/games and Entertainment (e.g. cinema, theatre, DVDs, sports games)
- 22 November: Clothes/footwear/other attire
- 23 November: Books/e-books
Paul Wallace, director of product marketing, Stingray Business Unit, Riverbed Technology, said: “Failure to offer a positive user experience during this crucial browsing period will inevitably affect where the shopper chooses to spend their money when they come to purchase. Strong Christmas sales are essential for the long-term performance of many retailers, but shoppers are increasingly selective about where they spend their money. They have little patience towards sites that are slow or offer poor usability, with one-third of shoppers abandoning transactions that take more than 10 seconds (Riverbed Online Shopper Rage report).”
Online retailers also need to be mindful of the need to provide a consistent multi-channel experience to shoppers across all devices e.g. mobile, tablet, laptop and PC. The recent Online Shopper Rage report from Riverbed identified a ‘browse-to-buy gap’ across different devices. While, 67% of shoppers use their tablet to browse for products, only 42% of shoppers use their tablet to purchase products.