Digital disappointment affects brand loyalty, says report

According to a survey by website testing group Apica, internet users are growing less forgiving and demanding over poor website performance.

The third-party firm found that 75% of respondents expect apps and websites to perform faster than three years ago, with 40% not waiting more than ten seconds for a website to respond before navigating away, and 11% not giving a site five seconds before moving onto another website.

The survey also found that digital disappointment affects brand loyalty, with 60% of consumers likely to be less loyal towards a brand if its app performance or website is poor; 10% of respondents said they would not return to an offending brand for services and goods, and 73% said they are likely to turn to competitors.

‘Ensuring peak performance’

CEO at Apica, Carmen Carey, said: “These results demonstrate that digital consumers have limited patience for slow performance or delays. There is clearly a general expectation that sites and apps will perform faster and better, particularly with the advent of born digital organisations. The onus is now on businesses, whether they’re a leading financial company or an online retailer, to ensure peak performance at all times.”

Users have restricted patience for organisations that schedule maintenance on apps and websites, the survey revealed, with 54% of respondents saying they have an ‘upper limit’ of one hour, 46% of users said that several hours of downtime was acceptable, and 83% said negative digital experience impacts brand reputation.

“If companies wish to retain both customers and revenue, they must focus on proactive performance testing and monitoring of their digital services to ensure that, even at peak times, downtime does not occur,” added Carmen.

The survey was conducted among 2,250 internet users in the UK, US and Sweden.

Written by Leah Alger