On Monday, Gomez, the Web performance division of Compuware Corporation (NASDAQ:CPWR), published the findings of an independent study examining the performance of Web sites experiencing peak traffic volumes and the impact on consumer behavior and business results. Conducted by Equation Research, the study polled 1500 people who use the Web at peak times such as holiday shopping, booking summer travel or executing trades during financial market shifts. It concluded that poor Web performance is rife in the retail, finance and travel industries, and that this has a dramatic and lasting impact on where consumers spend money online. The full study can be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/9wUzZj.
The survey, entitled "When More Website Visitors Hurt Your Business: Are You Ready for Peak Traffic?" found that:
Consumers do the lion's share of their online spending during peak traffic times and have high expectations for Web performance:
During these peak times, 51 percent spend a significant percentage of their online shopping budget and 35 percent make online travel bookings.
67 percent of consumers expect Web sites to work well regardless of how many visitors they have.
Consumers' expectations for quality Web performance were not met during 2009:
72 percent experienced slower Web sites more frequently during peak traffic periods than at other times. 58 percent reported more errors and 51 percent encountered more failing transactions.
Unacceptable Web site performance during peak traffic times led to actions and perceptions that negatively impacted businesses' revenue and reputation:
78 percent of consumers have switched to a competitor's Web site because they encountered slowdowns, errors and transaction problems during peak traffic times.
After a poor online experience, 88 percent are less likely to return to a site, 47 percent have a less positive perception of the company and 42 percent have discussed it with family, friends and peers, or online on social networks.
Poor Web performance at peak times is endemic across the financial, travel and retail verticals harming both short-term revenues and long-term customer relationships:
63 percent of online stock traders experienced poor Web performance during peak times in 2009 and 57 percent said they would switch to a competitive brokerage as a result.
53 percent of consumers using the Web for purchasing vacations, flights and hotels will only tolerate one or two bad Web experiences during peak times before booking on a different travel Web site.
33 percent of online shoppers experienced poor Web performance on a retail Web site during the 2009 holiday shopping season and 41 percent of them say they would abandon a retailer's Web site after just one of two poor experiences.
"Peak Web traffic means increased revenue opportunity: for most businesses, peak periods are precisely when they spend the most on promotions and campaigns to drive visitors to their sites and convert the sale. However, it's clear that peak traffic also means increased risk for degraded Web performance and, consequently, lost business, as this survey starkly confirms" said Matt Poepsel, Vice President, Performance Strategies, Gomez Division. "Investing in Web load testing before marketing campaigns and seasonal traffic spikes can help businesses ensure that their customers' online experience is optimal, even under peak loads."
Gomez retained Equation Research to conduct this survey. 1,538 consumers who had bought a product or service online in the past nine months were interviewed including 500 online shoppers, 500 using the Web for online travel bookings and 500 financial service users including online stock traders. Interviews were conducted during December 16-22, 2009.
To read the full findings in the "When More Website Visitors Hurt Your Business: Are You Ready for Peak Traffic?" report, please go to: http://bit.ly/9wUzZj.
Gomez, the Web performance division of Compuware, provides the industry's leading solutions for optimizing the performance, availability, and quality of Web and mobile applications. The on-demand Gomez platform integrates solutions for Web load testing, Web performance management, Web cross-browser testing, and Web performance business analysis that test and measure Web and mobile applications from the "outside-in" - across all users, browsers, devices, and geographies - using a global network of over 100,000 locations. When combined with Compuware Vantage, Gomez offers the industry's only solution for optimizing application performance across the Enterprise and the Internet. Over 2,500 customers worldwide, ranging from small companies to large enterprises - including 12 of the top 20 most visited US Web sites - use Gomez solutions to increase revenue, build brand loyalty, and decrease costs.
Founded in 1973, Compuware provides software, experts and best practices to ensure applications work well and deliver business value. Compuware solutions optimize application performance across the Enterprise and the Internet for leading businesses around the world, including 46 of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies and 12 of the top 20 most visited U.S. web sites. Learn more at: http://www.compuware.com.