Small businesses may want to spend a bit more time working on their websites and mobile apps. New research has found that slow and poor-performing websites can be a real detriment to businesses.
In fact, 88 percent of Americans surveyed said they have a negative association with brands that have buggy websites and apps, and 83 percent said slow websites cause them to have a negative reaction to a brand or company.
Overwhelmingly, those reactions are manifested in customers as annoyance and frustration, the researchers found. Respondents also said they do not trust slow websites or apps. Additionally, respondents also said they feel angry and disrespectful when dealing with slow websites and apps.
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Customers are taking out those frustrations on the companies. Overall, 28 percent of respondents said they will go to a competitor's website if the first website they visit takes too long to load. Additionally, respondents said they would not trust the site or visit the site again if it is too slow. Thirteen percent of respondents said they would think the site had been hacked.
To avoid those problems, businesses should focus on making sure apps and websites work on demand. Seventy-two percent of respondents said that is the most important quality of any app or small business website. Users also expect websites and apps to have little or no waiting time and work as expected. Half of respondents said that websites and apps should not crash, and that they should provide trustworthy results. Just 38 percent of respondents expect the technologies to be fun to use.
"Just as brick-and-mortar businesses invest heavily in their storefront to represent their brand image, our research shows that e-commerce retailers need to create a similar high-quality online experience in keeping with the brand perception," said Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, which conducted the research. "If companies want to remain competitive in the modern landscape, they need their Web and mobile websites to engage the user and work as expected. Those that are creating a seamless and enjoyable online user experience are reaping the benefits."
The research was based on more than 2,000 responses.