Nearly 70% of Europeans admit they will be uncomfortable making payments on websites that are slow or struggle to load while shopping for Christmas.
A study by Riverbed Technology revealed that 61% said they would form a negative perception of retailers who websites performed poorly during the holiday season.
As more than 50% of Europeans prefer to their Christmas shopping online than in the store, the study suggests for retailers to make sure they can cope with the online demand for this season.
"The predicted increase in Christmas shopping traffic this year, as indicated by the study results, could catch retailers off guard," said Apurva Davé, vice president of products and marketing at Riverbed Technology.
"It is an ongoing challenge for retailers to provide superior website performance for their customers," added Davé. "Retailers must respond to customer demands by making every website visit fast, reliable, and secure, no matter how dynamic and varied customer activity may be."
Online retail sites that don't understand the basics of site navigation as well as providing complete product information risk losing customers says Sellerdeck, ecommerce solution provider to SMEs.
According to a study by Sellerdeck, easy site navigation and detailed product information were found to be the most important factors for customers purchasing online.
"Ecommerce sites that get the basics of navigation and providing plenty of product information are best placed to succeed, while factors such as providing the lowest prices aren't necessarily as important as some may think," said Phil Rothwell, sales and marketing director of SellerDeck.
Customers can often be turned off to purchasing online if a site lacks sufficient product information, looks insecure or has technical problems.
"Although retailers may feel a lot of price pressure, providing it at the cost of customer service is likely to be a false economy," added Rothwell. "It's much more important to make sure the site looks professional and feels secure, while offering customers a smooth experience from the minute they enter the site to the point at which they receive the goods. This not only means happy customers, but increases the likelihood of them returning again and again."