Despite the perceived ease and convenience of online shopping, site performance is where the rubber meets the road in this highly competitive space, according to new research from digital performance intelligence firm Catchpoint. More than four out of five (81%) frequent online shoppers say they have previously been frustrated with slow-loading websites, mobile sites or native mobile apps—with over three quarters (76%) saying if a retailer’s website or mobile site performs poorly, they’re very likely to avoid shopping there again.

The negative business impact of slow or unavailable retail websites, mobile sites and apps was further reinforced with the survey finding that half (50%) of frequent online shoppers say they are less likely to visit a retailer’s brick-and-mortar store if they have a negative experience shopping on its website or mobile app.

“With more physical stores closing and more shopping moving online, consumers’ brand awareness of retailers is informed through their digital interactions,” comments Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and co-founder of Catchpoint, in a news release. “A fast, always-available site strengthens brand perception, while patterns of slowness or unreliability have the opposite effect.”

Other results from this holiday survey of frequent online shoppers:
◾More than one in five (21%) say they will wait no longer than five seconds for a website, mobile site or mobile app to load before abandoning the page.
◾Seventy-nine percent (79%) say they would abandon the checkout process if it took two minutes or more to attempt to complete a transaction.
◾Over half say they would be willing to wait longer than usual during the checkout process if free shipping (65%), coupons (57%) or bargains (62%) were available.
◾Thirty-three percent (33%) prefer to shop with retailers that offer a mobile app to ones that only have a website or mobile site.

“As ecommerce matures, the digital experience has become the critical customer service parameter,” said Daoudi. “Retailers are being pressured to deliver features, speed, availability and reliability. Missed expectations can have far reaching consequences to their business results.”

Catchpoint has released a free handbook for organizations interested in delivering the best online shopping experiences. Your Guide to Holiday Shopping Readiness. Download the free guide here.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Catchpoint Systems from November 1-3, 2016 among 2,064 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,361 shop online at least once a month. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Frequent online shoppers are defined as Americans who shop online at least once a month.

Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel