Websites have 30 seconds to perform

Business reputation damaged by downtime...

Business reputation damaged by downtime...

Most people are unwilling to wait more than 30 seconds for a website to load before taking their custom to a rival online store, research has found.

A study by Tickbox found 89.5 per cent of survey respondents would go to a competing store if their preferred website was down.

Mike Tobin, CEO of hosting company TelecityRedbus, which commissioned the study, said the internet is giving customers more reasons to shop around.

He said: "Online brand loyalty is so fragile. You have to be really on the ball if you want to do anything that creates brand loyalty. You have to make sure your foundations are right."

Almost all (85 per cent) of the 2,000 people surveyed said downtime has an adverse effect on a business' reputation.

Tobin added: "A company's website being down for 10 minutes is no longer a short-term problem. By having an unavailable or slow-loading website, a company is missing out on future revenue from frustrated consumers."

The top three reasons to move to an alternative website were poor customer service (70.8 per cent), slow loading time (68.9 per cent) and non-delivery on items ordered (68.5 per cent).