Most consumers abandon slow-loading e-commerce sites

August 24, 2020 by
Sanne Leenders

According to a survey conducted by Retail System Research (RSR), more than half of consumers said they leave when they are frustrated with slow-loading e-commerce sites. Therefore, they are more likely to buy from a similar retailer. However, some brands score high marks for speed, while others prep for the influx of shoppers this coming holiday season.

As soon as physical stores closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, more consumers started to shop online, testing the resiliency of retailers’ and brands’ e-commerce sites.

90% of shoppers abandon a slow-loading site

90% of shoppers will abandon a site if it does not load in a reasonable time, according to the survey, which interviewed 1,100 US-based consumers. More than half (57%) of consumers surveyed said they leave and buy from a similar retailer once they are frustrated with slow-loading e-commerce sites. While others buy from Amazon instead (41%), never come back to the retailer (21%), post on social media about their experience (14%) and complain to the retailer (11%).

In addition, Retail System Research evaluated 80 retailers that rank between No. 25 and No. 130 in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 500 across 18 different criteria for website performance. Criteria included time to render (or load), use of design, if site performance impaired navigation, responsive design (if the desktop experience easily translated to the mobile web), pop-up interferences, and how many third-party services are running on the check-out and login pages.

Digital channels are the last frontier of survival

“With consumers shopping primarily online and retailers desperate to make up lost revenue from recent bricks-and-mortar store closings, digital channels are the last frontier of survival for retail brands,” says Steve Rowen, Managing Partner at Retail System Research. “Based on the findings from our new report, retailers 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", Steve Rowen added.

Mobile shopping grows in its importance

32% of consumers said that retailers make it easy to complete their purchase on a mobile device. However, 22% still prefer the desktop shopping experience. Some shoppers prefer to finish their purchase on the desktop because it is more secure (14%) or because it is faster and more convenient (14%).

Retail System Research evaluated the mobile web load time for the 80 retailers. Ascena Retail Group had the fastest load time at 2.2 seconds. The slowest loading sites clocked in at 43.9 seconds, while the average load time for the 80 retailers evaluated was 7.02 seconds.

The top 10 fastest-loading mobile sites with loading times at three seconds and under include:

  1. Ascena Retail Group
  2. Groupon Goods
  3. 1-800 Contacts Inc.
  4. Inc.
  5. Lands’ End
  6. MidwayUSA Inc.
  7. L Brands
  8. Carter’s Inc.
  9. Ralph Lauren
  10. Express Inc.
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