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Cyber Monday: Don’t Let Slow eCommerce Sites Frustrate Online Shoppers

Today is Cyber Monday – the unofficial online shopping holiday. There’s no doubt that ecommerce sites will be slammed with increased web traffic as shoppers clamor for the best deals and deep discounts.

And you better hope your ecommerce site can handle the load, because slow websites and site crashes are among the main frustrations online shoppers encounter during the holidays, according to our recent survey in which we polled 2,000 US residents who celebrate Christmas to get a read on their holiday shopping habits.

Hopefully you were able to get a head start on the holiday rush. If not, here are five tips to help you (and your ecommerce site) survive.

Our survey found that 21 percent of online shoppers said websites that are slow to load, that crash or that are unavailable were their main frustration when they shopped online last holiday season. The same is true for shopping online after Christmas and during January sales – 12 percent said sites that crash, are slow or are unavailable frustrated them the most. Overall, 14 percent of respondents said websites that are slow to load, that crash or that are not available are their top online shopping frustration; that was second only to complicated checkout processes, with 21 percent.

But what’s most telling is what online shoppers do when they encounter frustrations: most of them give up and move on. Our survey found that roughly 37 percent of online shoppers abandon their purchase when they experience frustrations; 33 percent try a different site; 28 percent leave and try again later, only to be unhappy with the overall experience; and 13 percent give up and head out to physical stores.

And with online holiday shopping on the rise, losing these holiday sales due to poor web performance can have dramatic consequences. According to our survey, 36 percent of respondents said they will do roughly a quarter of their holiday shopping online and just fewer than 7 percent of respondents said they’ll do all of their shopping online this year.

Also growing is the number people who will shop from their tablets and smartphones. Roughly 15 percent of respondents said they’ll do their online holiday shopping using tablets, and 14 percent said they’ll use their smartphones. That marks a 67 percent and 55 percent increase, respectively, over the number of respondents who said they used their tablet or smartphone for holiday shopping last year.

The holiday season is just getting into full swing. Be sure your ecommerce site is ready to handle what comes its way. There’s still time to ready your site for last-minute holiday traffic, and it’s never too early to start planning for next year.

Happy holidays!

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Andrew Hickey.

Andrew Hickey is chief blog editor at Rackspace, a role in which he helps Rackers, customers and partners tell their stories. Andrew comes to Rackspace following many years as a journalist, more than half of which were spent covering high tech and Rackspace. When not writing, Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and his dog, and spinning punk rock vinyl. If you have an idea for the Rackspace Blog, track down Andrew at andrew.hickey@rackspace.com.


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