Online Retailers Optimize Site Speed as Holiday Shopping Traffic Rises

This year's holiday sales may rise from 2% to 4% over last year. Marketers who sell online can expect larger increases, with jumps of up to 15%. However, marketers who don’t take the time to optimize their websites, especially for the devices consumers are using to make purchases, maletwitteruserstand the chance of losing business.

Earlier this year, Riverbed Technology hired Harris Poll to query shoppers about their online habits. Not surprisingly, a significant majority of consumers, 68%, shop online but they have certain expectations about the experience. Consumers say they visit 3 websites before deciding where they will make their purchase. These visits often originate on a mobile device and the following problems don’t sit well with consumers:

  • Slow-​loading pages on smartphones drive away shoppers 67%
  • Slow websites on smartphones drive the shoppers to the traditional store 29%
  • Website issues prompt shoppers to visit a competitor’s site 22%
  • Website issues prompt shoppers to abandon purchase 20%

Consumers noted that they feel loyal to traditional retailers and if they’ve had a good previous experience, 70% will return to that retailer. Even a price discount from an online retailer will not be enough to sway these customers. These findings underscore the importance of having a website that is “high performance and scalable to take peak loads over the holiday season.” The online shopping issues don’t stop there, though. Online retailers must be able to optimize their prices and shipping options to compete with what traditional retailers are offering.

If you’re selling website services, it’s time to check in with your clients and make sure they can handle the peak holiday load. Keep in mind that online sales could be as high as $82 billion this season and you'll want to help your clients capture their share.

To learn more about Online Shoppers, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

[Sources: New Harris Poll. Riverbed​.com. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2013; Cantrell, Vicki. Online Holiday Expectations. Blog​.shop​.org. 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.