Consumer website expectations in the digital age are accelerating at a dramatic pace. As the internet and technology has become daily and integral parts of most of our lives, our expectations of brands big and small have increased dramatically. Never before has this been more apparent than how current website and smartphone app users react to a company’s poor technology performance.

In a recent study conducted by Apica, consumers are more willing than ever to quickly abandon a brand when their website or applications perform poorly. Whether it be speed, accuracy or reliability, both B2B and B2C consumers will not only leave a website and/or stop using a digital product, but completely write off the brand altogether. The data surrounding consumer expectations of brand website performance should cause brands large and small to reevaluate their digital technologies.

The Importance Of Website Performance

Today, a website or app not only needs to be well designed, address your customers needs and be easy to navigate, but they also need to perform well. Performance can be everything from the speed with which it loads pages and functions, to its ability to accurately function for your users. And when it comes to technology, speed is everything.

How many of us have given up on our phone or desktop when a website we are trying to visit won’t load quickly? It’s happened to all of us at one time or another, but we often don’t consciously consider the ramifications to the brand that owns the site or application. The fact is that 77% of respondents said that they expect websites and apps to perform faster than they did 3 years ago and 40% said they won’t wait more than a few seconds for a
website to respond before navigating away.

What’s more Google and other search engines place a huge value to sites with pages that have rapid load times of fewer than 3 seconds or less, whether on mobile or desktop. Furthermore, both Google and Facebook alike now have technologies that are specifically designed to significantly improve the page load times for their mobile users.

Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and Facebook Instant Articles essentially reformat your content pages into streamlined documents that removes all nonessential programming code and functions that make loading your content on mobile devices considerably faster for the user. Before you think this is all automatic and easy, it’s not. There are numerous steps and setup requirements in order to work with their technologies. Challenging? Yes! A requirement to compete today? Absolutely!

Consumers Aren’t Forgiving Of Old/Slow Technology

The Apica study that interviewed some 2,250 respondents reveals that a whopping 73% of consumers said that they’re likely to turn to competitors when a brand’s site has poor performance. I hope you didn’t miss that… MOST website visitors that consider your site too slow due to poor design or outdated technology leave and go to your competitors. The worst part is that most of these brands aren’t even aware if or why they’re getting poor results from their website.

Your Website AND Brand Are Being Deserted

The data regarding how consumer website expectations are resulting in site and even brand desertion is alarming. Here are are few additional statistics uncovered from this recent study.

-Never Coming Back – 10% of participants would never return to a brand for goods or services following a poor website/app experience.

-Your Site Is Down? 54% of users said that several hours of planned downtime was unacceptable. Duh!

-Perfection Is Expected – 13% of consumers expect a site or app to have 100% UPTIME availability.

Brand Loyalty Tied To Website Performance

If you thought the worst was over regarding your slow or outdated website that is 3 or more years old, we have some additional data that you need to consider.

Poor Website Performance – 60% of consumers said they would be less loyal to a brand if they experienced poor website or app performance.

What Happens On Your Site Doesn’t Stay There – In fact, 83% of consumers surveyed stated that they consider telling colleagues about a poor website or app experience. A huge 37% said they would definitely tell their friends or colleagues about a site that is performing horribly.

Improve Your Website Performance And Speed

There are many reasons why visitors leave or abandon a website. Some of the main reasons for high abandon rates tend to be things like poor design, not appealing, bad messaging or unclear navigation, however if you want to ensure a customer leaves your website for good, continue to have a slow site that uses old technologies. They’ll leave your site and your brand.

As with one of our recent new clients, a lot of times you really need to burn everything down to the ground and start over. A new client of ours had all of these speed and performance issues with their website, as well as the messaging and navigation problems that were affecting their bounce rates, search placement and of course overall brand results. So everything had to start over.

In this and many cases a brand needs to begin by evaluating everything related to their digital marketing. From the top down, all aspects of their strategy, target market and messaging should be questioned and supported with accurate data and analysis. From there a proper integrated marketing program, new messaging and revamped website, technology and messaging can be rebuilt in a way that delivers on the user’s experience expectations, as well as the brand’s need for results.

This is what we do…