Web site speed proves key to customer loyalty

Web site speed proves key to customer loyalty

Datacentre operator TelecityRedbus warns its customers against slack approach to web service

TelecityRedbus, a newly merged large datacentre operator, last week released research to show what consumers want from web sites – and how firms can increase brand loyalty online.

An important finding was that the average internet user has very little patience for sites that take long to load or are unavailable.

Three main issues were identified. First, most users will not wait more than 30 seconds for a web site to load. Second, almost 90 percent of users will simply move to a rival site if their original destination is unavailable.

Third, the findings did not indicate much brand loyalty. Over 50 percent claimed loyalty to an online brand, but in practice almost 90 percent said that they would move over to a competitor web site if their original destination took too long to load.

TelecityRedbus carried out an internet-based tickbox survey and received 2,000 responses from a mixed-sex group with an age range from 16 to over 55.

TelecityRedbus chief executive Mike Tobin said, “We wanted to validate what it is that we do within the marketplace. We don’t deal with consumers directly, but our customers, such as Google, do, and we wanted to help them to understand what was going on.”

Tobin added, “We wanted to look at downtime and how it affects a company, to try and measure how the consumer sees brands, and then to see whether we could gauge how loyal they are to them and whether we could improve [their loyalty].”

However, Tobin said that some downtime is necessary. “You will never get 100 percent availability, but as long as any downtime is managed correctly, people will happily accept it,” he said. “TelecityRedbus can help with downtime issues, we can help with your customer service [if it is online].”

Tobin argued that internet shoppers’ habit of flitting from shop to shop makes it important to offer them the best service possible. “If 53 percent of shoppers are not brand-loyal then the money will simply always be spent where the best online experience can be found.”