For the third year in a row, eCommerce industry research experts Retail Systems Research (RSR) has conducted and published a report on the current state of retailer websites. Just as in past reports, 80 major retail websites were evaluated and scored based on page speed performance and shopper experience.
This year, RSR included the critical feedback of 1,300 US-based consumers on retailers’ digital presence. The results were unforgiving — and if retailers don’t take action, they can expect up to 90% of consumer traffic to leave their site if it does not load fast enough.
If that wasn’t the shock of reality you needed, here is more of what shoppers had to say in this eCommerce research:
Consumers are willing to walk (or click) away
Loyalty is dead when retail sites don’t meet shopper expectations. According to this report, 57% of consumers have left an eCommerce site because it is slow and then bought from a similar retailer. And 40% say they have left an eCommerce site because it is slow and then bought from Amazon specifically.
The lack of a consistently fast online shopping experience literally pushes consumers into the arms of the competition.
Frustration drives retaliation
Turns out, shoppers care about bad reputations. 94% of shoppers say they are getting fed-up with online sites that do not meet their needs. And news about poor shopping experience spreads fast. In fact, 14% of shoppers say they have taken to social media to complain about a slow loading retail site. This consequence can be devastating to a retailer’s credibility.
Just about the only benefit that comes out of shopper complaints is that the retailer is now aware that there is an issue with their website performance. This report highlights that unfortunately and in many instances, retailers will be the last to know.
Get ready to get dumped
Believe it or not, poor reviews and online slander aren’t the worst things that can happen as a result of missing the mark on shopper expectations. You could be losing those shoppers forever. RSR found that 23% of shoppers never returned to a brand’s website due to slow page performance. That’s a big number when it comes to revenue that retailers will never end up seeing.
eCommerce industry research says shoppers take it personal
Why is page load speed so important? It directly impacts how (and if) consumers are shopping eCommerce sites, and the quality of experience they are having. In addition to the concern that there is a security risk to their personal information, 53% of shoppers stated that their biggest issue with slow retail sites is that they are wasting their personal time.
Time is valuable, and in today’s world, it’s no secret that people want things now. But this doesn’t mean that speed is the only answer to the challenge of providing online shoppers with the digital experience they need.
What do online shoppers actually expect from eCommerce sites?
RSR indicates that in order to meet shopper expectations, eCommerce website performance needs to balance speed, shopper engagement, and a consistently-smooth user experience across all devices.
In terms of retail website capabilities, shoppers claim product and review ratings and the ability to compare products as the top features that make online shopping enjoyable.
Overall, RSR urges retailers to optimize their sites to meet shopper expectations sooner rather than later.
Not sure where to start? Try shopping your own site. Are there any page loading issues? How fast is it? Is the experience consistent? If you were a shopper, would you complete your purchase? Answering these questions will give you an idea of what your shoppers are actually dealing with.
To learn more about what shoppers are saying and see the top performing retail websites, check out the full 2019 RSR report.
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