Festive season is a good time to make some quick cash but many retail websites in Singapore were unable to cope with the associated increase in traffic during the Chinese New Year period.
A new report from Borland, a Micro Focus company, shows that response times on the home page of most of the popular shopping sites in Singapore exceeded 18 seconds.
It was a challenge for these online retailers to keep up their websites' performance during the holidays and could not capitalise on the seasonal online rush of consumers looking for bargains.
Borland has identified the major contributors to poor site performance as poor code quality and insufficient or problematic supporting environments.
Retail websites typically fail to deliver if the traffic through the supporting environment is higher than expected. They also fail to address customers' shopping needs if they fail to meet the expected capacity of transactions.
"There is a lot of data available showing that users are losing patience with poor performing websites. Consumers are redefining what 'instant' means - attention spans are getting shorter and brand loyalty is increasingly fragile," said Jeff Findlay, Borland Architect - APJ, at Micro Focus.
Website delays cause loss
Small is big in online businesses as even minor delays to website response times can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction.
Even a one second delay in website response time results in 11 percent fewer page views, a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction and a seven percent loss in conversions.
Retail websites in Singapore should work harder in future as the average online shopper expects Web pages to load in two seconds or less and 40 percent of shoppers will abandon the site after three seconds.
Seventy-four percent of users abandon a mobile site if it does not load in five seconds. Eighty-eight percent of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
"It looks like a number of the sites monitored over the seasonal period will have missed out on potential revenue as a result of their website's inability to process high levels of traffic," added Findlay. "Developing a robust performance strategy takes time, and peak period preparation should begin early with testing starting about six months beforehand. Putting in this groundwork is crucial if retailers are to take full advantage of peak shopping times throughout the year."
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