Rackspace, a leading enterprise-level web hosting company with a global presence, believes it knows the secret to capturing a big share of this year’s online holiday shopping: speed.
According to a recent study they commissioned, nearly 38% of the respondents who plan to shop online are prepared to abandon a website or smart phone app that takes too long to load. If consumers are forced to wait beyond 10 seconds or so, they are more likely to try something else. Even more alarming are statistics that show roughly 45% of online shoppers will purchase from competitors if they view a particular website is too slow.
According to Rackspace VP of Cloud Services Fabio Torlini, “retailers need to prepare their web-based store fronts for surges in demand especially if they offer discounts and other deals…having the right cloud hosting service in place for those surges can be of great benefit for these retailers.”
The sentiments expressed by Rackspace are something that a handful of web developers have known for decades. Online business is more about efficiency and functionality than aesthetics. Where profitable web developers have been pushing for less glamour and more horsepower, many online businesses have resisted because such philosophies go against the grain of traditional retail marketing. Nonetheless, as the Rackspace study indicates, the numbers don’t lie. Businesses that slow down their websites in order to make them aesthetically pleasing will find their customers going where they can shop more quickly and efficiently.
On a final note, smartphones are looking to play an important role in this year’s holiday shopping season. More than 27% of the survey’s respondents stated they would be looking for special deals and QR codes as they do their holiday shopping.