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E-tailers pay heavy price for slow sites on Black Friday

Published
today Sep 25, 2019
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As Black Friday and Cyber Monday loom on the horizon, a new study from Quantum Metric has revealed that shoppers have high expectations for e-tailers on the shopping holidays, and are more than willing to take their money to a site’s competitors if their experience is too slow.


Online shoppers get particularly irritable about slow load times on Black Friday - Nación 321

 
36% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers said that a slow browser experience would lead them to shop elsewhere, an assertion seemingly confirmed by one retailer whose conversion rate was slashed in half by a six-second load time delay last year.
 
Indeed, it seems that e-commerce platforms have little space for error on these shopping holidays, with 48% of consumers also saying that, given the option to waitlist for a product that they want which is out of stock, they would be more likely to hunt for it elsewhere.

This is most likely related to the fact that 22% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers know exactly what they want to purchase before the holidays arrive, making finding those specific products a priority. Interestingly, shoppers looking for particular products also present a much higher conversion rate, representing 55% of one Fortune 500 retailer’s Black Friday revenue last year.
 
Overall, 31% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers were intending to do most of their shopping on Black Friday, a figure that represents a singularly tricky challenge for e-tailers, as high expectations meet with a peak in site traffic.
 
“Black Friday is the biggest sales event of the year, and built-up expectations result in an incredible door-busting mentality online,” explained Quantum Metric founder and CEO Mario Ciabarra in a release. “In order to make sure that customers do not leave disappointed and empty-handed, retailers must diligently prepare for the influx of potential customers. Their Black Friday experience must be seamless and rewarding – turning rage-clicks and refreshes into revenue opportunities, or they risk losing customers to competitors.”
 
Quantum Metric’s report also highlighted a number of bugbears that plague e-commerce shoppers throughout the year, pointing out error messages as a particular source of frustration. 49% of consumers surveyed by the study said that they would abandon their cart upon receiving an error message while checking out that prevented them from completing their purchase, while 17% said that the same situation would lead them to immediately search for the desired product on another site.

Error messages aren’t only frustrating, though, they are also worrying, with 34% of consumers stating that they would be concerned about their personal information if they encountered an error post checkout.
 
Other reasons cited for abandoning online purchases included products going out of stock after being added to a shopper’s cart (cited by 49% of survey respondents), long load times (30%) and not being able to access one’s account (38%).
 
The data used in Quantum Metric’s report was collected through a survey of 1,194 US adults conducted by YouGov PLC in June 2019.

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