It’s a cloud-powered Christmas, with 51% of US and UK consumers surveyed doing at least half of their shopping online
Nov 25, 2013
London, UK – 25 November 2013 – With over half of the research respondents planning to do most of their Christmas shopping online, UK and US retailers stand to gain an enormous amount from this channel according to a new study from Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX), the open cloud company.
The Rackspace study of the 4,000 UK and US adults, shows, however, that more than half (55 per cent) of the shoppers surveyed experienced online frustrations last Christmas, with 44 per cent of this group abandoning their purchase, and 34 per cent trying a different website.
The top frustrations were cited as complicated check-out procedures (29 per cent), followed by slow-loading websites (25 per cent). This indicates that the share of the colossal Christmas purchase pudding each retailer will get is dependent on the online experience they provide customers.
Cloud-powered Christmas traditions
The Rackspace study also reveals that a massive 86 per cent of respondents intend to buy at least some element of their Christmas online – from gifts (69 per cent) to Christmas music and games (13 per cent) and travel tickets to see family or friends (14 per cent). This is often an evening pursuit for most users, with 52 per cent planning to shop at home in the evenings.
Yet, going online this festive season is not just about shopping: it’s now a firm part of people’s Christmas traditions. Even on Christmas Day, 65 per cent of respondents intend to go online to, for example, send season’s greetings to friends and family (31 per cent) and / or post pictures of their celebrations (21 per cent) using cloud-powered social media channels. Others will be playing online games (19 per cent), surfing the web (17 per cent) and / or watching on demand TV (12 per cent). It’s a similar picture on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, with 62 per cent going online.
A merry mobile Christmas
This year almost one-fifth (18 per cent) of those surveyed will be shopping online using a tablet. This is a substantial increase from the 10 per cent who shopped in this way last year. Similarly, smartphone usage for online purchases is up from 10 per cent last year to 16 per cent this year.
Three out of every ten UK and US adults (30 per cent) are planning to give someone a connected device – such as a tablet or smartphone – for Christmas, and over a quarter (28 per cent) are expecting to receive a connected device. Just under half (43 per cent) will be giving a digital gift, with shopping vouchers most popular (30 per cent).
John Engates, CTO Rackspace, said: “Our study suggests that this may be the most connected Christmas ever. This means that all businesses with an online presence – not just retailers – need to ensure they have the hosting infrastructure and support in place to deal with inevitable traffic peaks over the entire festive season. Imagine the frustration if you are unable to shop at a certain website before Christmas, or use an app with your brand new tablet on Christmas Day. With so much to gain or lose over the festive season, it’s high time for businesses to ensure that such frustrations do not become unwelcome Christmas traditions.”
Vital preparations for retailers and other businesses to undertake now include:
• Check and test capacity: To avoid website slowdown, e-tailers in particular should do a full audit of their web hosting environment to check if there is enough network connections and server space available to handle a high influx of web traffic. They should also ‘load’ test websites by flooding them with a large volume and variety of requests, from simpler tasks like landing on the home page to key word searches, filling up baskets and checking-out. With 44 per cent of shoppers abandoning a purchase if they cannot quickly and easily use the website, e-tailers can’t afford for any system lag or unavailability.
• Get support: Peak traffic demands over the Christmas shopping period and beyond will probably not happen during a 9 to 5 working day. The study found that 52 per cent of respondents will be shopping in the evenings, and 65 per cent will be online on Christmas day. Retailers need to have appropriate support to keep their website up and running whenever it’s needed.
• Use a hybrid cloud: Testing may show that additional web capacity is required during high-traffic times. The public cloud is the ideal hosting environment for this as it offers unmatched scalability on a pay-as-you-go basis. Use it in combination with dedicated servers or private cloud in a ‘hybrid cloud’ to deliver optimal security, reliability and overall infrastructure performance.
• Keep improving: After peak season dies down, review the performance of your website, analyse any downtime or other performance issues, and use this to fix any issues. The majority (56 per cent) of UK and US adults surveyed say that their main reason for shopping online is the convenience, so keeping it that way is crucial.
Notes to editors:
About the research:
The survey was conducted between the 21/10/2013 – 24/10/2013 by OnePoll. 2000 UK respondents were recruited online using screening questions to ensure that they celebrate Christmas before entering the survey.
The same process was carried out for 2000 respondents from the USA where we used our research partner to obtain the respondents from USA.
The full survey can be found at http://www.rackspace.co.uk/sites/default/files/Rackspace Merged Data.xlsx
About Rackspace Hosting
Rackspace® (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company and founder of OpenStack, the standard open-source operating system for cloud computing. Headquartered in San Antonio, Rackspace delivers its renowned Fanatical Support® to more than 200,000 business customers, from data centers on four continents. Rackspace is a leading provider of hybrid clouds, which enable businesses to run their workloads where they run most effectively — whether on the public cloud, a private cloud, dedicated servers, or a combination of these platforms. Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company, and is featured on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. For more information, visit www.rackspace.co.uk.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements concerning expected development, performance or market acceptance associated with the Rackspace’s hybrid cloud solutions, federated cloud services or other associated products and services; anticipated operational and financial benefits from Rackspace’s hybrid cloud solutions, federated cloud services or other associated products and services; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include including the possibility that expected benefits from the Rackspace cloud network program or the products and services offered through the Rackspace cloud network program may not materialize because the products or services are not generally accepted in the marketplace, which could occur due to certain factors including (i) a failure to market the products or services cost effectively, differentiate the products and services from competitive products and services or communicate differentiations effectively, (ii) the reliability, quality or compatibility associated with the products or services, (iii) changes in technology which adversely affect the benefits of the product, (iv) slowdowns in the general economy or technology industry that impact consumer spending habits, (v) internal strategy decisions that impact the platform, products and services, and (vi) and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting’s Form 10-Q for the year ended March 31, 2012, filed with the SEC on May 9, 2013. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
Learn more at www.rackspace.com/en-gb or call +44 208 734 8107.
Recent Press Releases
Andy Brierley joins Rackspace as UK General Manager
March 3rd, 2020
Rackspace appoints Martin Blackburn to lead Rackspace EMEA business
January 27th, 2020
Alemba selects Rackspace flexible cloud services to reach new customers
January 28th, 2020
Rackspace Completes Acquisition of Onica
December 3rd, 2019