Speeding up the checkout process is the key to attracting new consumers for online retailers, research shows.
A new study by the website optimization platform Optimizely revealed that more than 40 percent of consumers would shop more online if making a purchase was a faster process. Specifically, nearly 85 percent of shoppers expect an online transaction to be completed in less than 5 minutes.
Dan Siroker, CEO and co-founder of Optimizely, said currently, just 2 percent of visitors across the Web are converted into customers.
"That means there is a massive opportunity to convert the other 98 percent," Siroker said."Increasingly, online retailers must differentiate by providing a superior Web experience."
In addition to speeding up checkout times, the research shows that revitalizing a website's look can help the site appeal to shoppers, especially younger ones. Seventy percent of consumers under the age of 35 are more likely to spend more time on websites that feel fresh.
In all, the majority of online shoppers believe brands could do a better job at making Web browsing smooth and simple. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed agree that the overall experience of surfing the Web could be better. The study found that men and the shoppers under the age of 35, regardless of gender, are the most likely to want an improved browsing experience.
Siroker said the findings suggest that online retail is undergoing some radical changes, thus encouraging online merchants to differentiate themselves in more meaningful ways. He added that since consumers' time is now worth more to them then ever, they need more compelling shopping experiences, unique or personalized product selections, or better customer service.
The study was based on surveys of 2,500 U.S. adults over the age of 18.