UK shoppers lose their Christmas spirit when shopping online

Almost of all of us will shop online this Christmas. No huge surprise there, but according to research all is not rosy in retailing cyberspace. More than 32 per cent of consumers cite slow loading pages as their biggest pet-hate when shopping online, with a quarter waiting just 10 seconds for a site to load before moving on to a competitive retailer. A third of Brits would boycott web sites if they weren’t reliable, so if retailers want to prosper this Christmas, they need to ensure web sites are up to scratch or risk losing revenue and brand loyalty.

The survey, conducted by networking company Brocade, found that after slow load-speeds, unwanted pop ups (24 per cent), too many entry fields/pages (18 per cent) and sites that lack visual impact (8 per cent) were the nation’s biggest online shopping frustrations. Further findings saw more evidence of consumers’ disillusionment with almost half of respondents saying they’d only wait 20 seconds for a page to load before moving onto to another site.

Paul Phillips, Regional Director for UK and Ireland at Brocade commented: “Online shopping has always been about convenience, but as more and more of us ditch the high street for the computer, the UK’s network infrastructure is becoming increasingly congested. This research clearly shows that this is having an affect on the consumer experience.”

The survey also found that 40 per cent of respondents would tell friends and family not to use a particular site if they had a bad online shopping experience, with over a quarter complain to customer service. Critically for online retailers, all of the respondents said they would make some form of complaint.

The impact of all this is already having an affect with 68 per cent of consumers stating they would be doing less online shopping this year compared to last.

Phillips concluded: “What’s evident from this research is that the UK’s current network infrastructure is struggling to cope with its appetite for online shopping, and if the government and retailers don’t act fast they could well be on Santa’s naughty list next year.”

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