Slow running and unreliable websites are still a major gripe for British Internet users, causing over a third of customers to never come back, according to new research from 1 and 1 Internet, who claim 71 per cent of UK web users are regularly inconvenienced by slow running websites.
This amount of consumer anger is hardly surprising when you consider the average Briton estimates that they waste 9 minutes every day, or 2 days a year, waiting for slow websites to load.
The data suggests that consumers have felt little improvement since a similar study five years ago, which found a wastage of 10 minutes per day. A total of 78 per cent of consumers have felt negative emotions as a result of a slow or unreliable website. Women appear more affected by related stress or anger, 34 per cent as compared to 27 per cent for men.
On average 31 per cent of Britons admit that related stress or anger has increased over the past 5 years. Half of consumers believe that websites have either not improved in speed or have become slower over the past 5 years.
Doubts over whether a slow online transaction has been successful are experienced by 44 per cent of UK consumers. Whilst men may suffer less emotionally, they are perhaps more judgmental on the issue. Some 42 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women have decided not to use a company again as a result of an overly slow website.
The strength of consumers' reaction is indicative of their awareness of what slows websites down. Over the past 5 years, 37 per cent of web users believe that they have become better able to judge whether a website is running more slowly than it should. Respondents point to more attractive designs and more complex features as contributing to slow loading speeds. Only one in four web users believe that the websites they use are getting faster each year.
Sitemorse has warned frequently that an incalculable volume of sales are lost due to users abandoning online purchases because of errors they encounter.
It appears that Britons are more affected than some other Europeans. In Spain, only 60 per cent complain of slow running websites, and the average time wasted is slightly better at 8.5 minutes every day. German web users appear to have a faster experience. In Germany, only 44 per cent complain of slow running websites, and the average time wasted is lowest at 5.5 minutes per day.
It seems consumers have never been so aware - and unforgiving - of slow running websites. If a website does not meet their expectations, users will switch to an alternative.