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Online shoppers left frustrated by multimedia overload

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2nd Mar 2010
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Poorly designed and slow websites often overloaded with multimedia content are losing UK retailers up to £5.7 billion in sales each year as a result of abandoned transactions.

These are the findings of a survey undertaken among 2,033 consumers by research company TNS and commissioned by hosting company Hostway and Zeus Technology, which sells load balancing software.

The study found that each respondent had abandoned an average of 5.5 transactions over the last 12 months, while they spent an average of about £30 per transaction. The key reason for going elsewhere was that web pages took too long to load (46% of those questioned), followed by irritation with online advertising (24%).

A further 16% found the web site difficult to navigate, while 13% grumbled about bad web links.

Neil Barton, a director at Hostway, said: "Last year, UK retail consumers spent £38 billion online, yet it is clear that many people still have frustrations when shopping online. The research revealed that over two thirds of respondents were wasting an average of two and a half days a year reloading and waiting for web pages to load properly."

One of the key issues here was simply the amount of multimedia content that retailers were loading onto their websites to try and make them more interesting without realising that they were putting customers off, he added.

Bizarrely, the study also indicated that 71% of consumers believed if they regularly purchased goods from a particular website, they should be rewarded with a better online experience than those who were simply browsing, although it was unclear of what such an experience should consist.

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