Fifty two percent of shoppers said they get frustrated when shopping on sluggish retail sites, according to a survey conducted by Retail Systems Research (RSR). The survey also found that 90% of consumers have left a website if it loaded too slowly. Per the survey's performance tests, Ascena, Groupon Goods, 1-800 Contacts, Overstock.com and Lands' End were the top five fastest loading sites.
Thirty-two percent of survey respondents indicated that they buy via retailers' mobile sites once they've started shopping on their phone because it's easy. Load times vary by retailer, though. The fastest load time was 2.2 seconds, but the slowest was 43.9 seconds, according to the report.
If a retailer's website loads too slowly, 57% of 2020 respondents go to another, similar retailer, 41% head to Amazon and 21% never return to the site, the survey found. As for shopping online during and beyond COVID-19, 94% of respondents said online shopping will be an important activity during the crisis, and 45% said online shopping will be a daily necessity for them.
As the COVID-19 pandemic drives a spike in online shopping, RSR's research underscores the importance of retailers' online shopping experiences, and how they impact consumer behavior.
"With consumers shopping primarily online and retailers desperate to make up lost revenue from recent brick and mortar store closings, digital channels are the last frontier of survival for retail brands," Steve Rowen, managing partner of RSR, said in a statement. "[R]etailers that cannot rely on their online offerings' ability to serve as their primary face to the consumers now face the very serious chance of extinction."
On top of site speed, cybersecurity also emerged as a concern for consumers visiting retailers' websites in RSR's survey. Retailers have continued to fight data breaches, which are on the rise, and customers are worried about their safety as well.