Patience Is Not A Virtue For Online Retailers

Slow Website

A wise man once proclaimed, “all good things come to those who wait.” But that wise man clearly didn’t work in the hustle and bustle of online retail.

In the modern world it feels like everything moves at a million miles per hour. The culture of fast food means the notion of going for dinner as an evening out is becoming a thing of the past; the evolution of communication has seen us move from carrier pigeon to post, through to email and the immediacy of social media; while the old-fashioned courting process has become a thing of the past thanks to point and click online dating sites.

The world of online retail is firmly at the heart of this fast-paced modern society, and the vital ingredient to a successful online offering is speed. The faster and smoother that brands can make their buying processes the better.

Consumers will actively refuse to wait more than a few seconds for a website to load, and will be utterly appalled by a website that forces them to scroll through a multiple stage buying process. The younger generation demands what they want, as soon as they want it.

This may sound trivial, and many retailers may dismiss this as simply consumers lacking patience. But the issue of speed is a real threat to businesses with an online presence – having a fast commerce site can affect conversation rates, Google/SEO rankings and improve customer perceptions.

Earlier this year research firm QuBit estimated that slow loading websites are costing online retailers £1.73 billion in global sales. Additionally, internal research by Amazon found that just a one second delay in the load time of a website would cost it $1.6 billion annually, while Google calculated that slowing the load time of its search results by just four tenths of a second would lose 8 million searches per day, hence several million less adverts.

So we’re talking about the threat of slow performing websites costing big companies big bucks. Online retailers that want to boost their sales and appeal to the younger generations must ensure their websites are quick, easy to use and have straightforward purchase processes.

The key to success in this fast-paced world of online retail is using a hosting provider ensures a website performs in all eventualities, including spikes in demand, and guarantees maximum uptime and optimal performance.

Unlike that once wise man’s claim, good things will not come to online retailers that make the modern day consumer wait. Nothing is more frustrating for them than waiting for an ill-performing website to load, and the result is likely to be seeing consumers with a hole burning in the left-click of their mouse abandoning your site in favour of your competitors.

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Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic Monkhouse is the UK MD of managed hosting provider PEER 1. He has spent 14 years working in sales, marketing and business management within the IT sector. Prior to PEER 1, he held senior positions with Rackspace and IT support company IT Lab. Dominic is regularly interviewed by and quoted in business and technology publications including the Financial Times, Data Centre Dynamics, and Computer Business Review. Dominic has a BSc in Agricultural and Food Marketing from Newcastle and a MBA from Sheffield Business School.