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Speed, stability and UX drive ecommerce

Cloud and web app monitoring company Monitis has announced results of a survey looking into shopping habits. With 2012 certain to break online shopping records, the Monitis data provides stark warnings for any sites not yet up to scratch, and showcases how with greater choice, consumers simply won't accept poor user experiences.

Key findings from the survey of 1006 online shoppers centred on speed. 56 per cent of those who took part and who spend more than two hours per week shopping online admitted they'd cancelled an order due to slow response times. Crucially, vendor loyalty isn't enough to keep most online shoppers hanging around when things aren't good enough on a site: 74 per cent revealed they'd switch to a competing online vendor if they could find a better user experience and faster website than the one they currently use. For frequent online shoppers, this figure rises to an alarming 86 per cent.

Although convenience and price were nonetheless the main factors for those surveyed regarding shopping online, it's clear usability (mostly surrounding ease of use, reliability and response times) is of increasing importance in terms of capturing and retaining customers. "Simply avoiding downtime is often the primary goal for web developers and designers when maintaining websites, but as the holiday rush has shifted to online stores, success depends less on the minimum threshold of uptime and more on meeting the various other expectations of shoppers, to keep them coming back," said Hovhannes Avoyan, general manager at Monitis. "Consumers turn to online vendors for convenience, so it's critical they ensure a positive shopping experience by focusing on website usability and speed."