Customer loyalty damaged by bad online experiences

Six in ten customers would show less loyalty to a brand after a poor online experience using its website or mobile app, according to a new report.

A survey by Apica found that 60 per cent of customers would be so unimpressed with poor performance that they would be more likely to shop with competitor brands in future.

Shoppers’ standards set a high bar – 40 per cent will not wait more than ten seconds for a website to respond and 11 per cent said they would move on after five seconds.

10 per cent of consumers would be so offended by this poor performance that they would never return to the brand for goods or services.

Swedish customers were found to be the least tolerant of online issues, with 73 per cent turning to competitors after a bad experience with a website or app.

“These results demonstrate that digital consumers have limited patience for slow performance or delays,” said Carmen Carey, Apica’s CEO.

“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.”

Even maintenance downtime was unacceptable for some users, with only 46 per cent believing it was okay for firms’ sites and apps to be down for several hours.

Meanwhile, 13 per cent of consumers expect 100 per cent uptime from businesses.

The consequences of a bad online experience could amplify, too, as 83 per cent of respondents said they were likely to tell their friends and family about the problem.

“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,” Carey said.

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