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36% of online shoppers face glitches

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Saturday January 10, 2009 )

According to a recent nationwide survey from Guidance; 36% of online shoppers ran into problems with ecommerce sites when buying gifts during the holiday season.

The survey report also found the group least likely to say their online shopping was incident-free was the group least likely to shop online.

The common problems experienced by online shoppers during holiday season 2008 included:

Slow web site : 34%
Crashed web site: 21%
Could not complete purchase: 19%
Site was temporarily down: 16%
Purchase didn’t go through: 10%

While the web hosting service can have a great deal to do with some of the above issues; often I’ve found the fault lies more with the shopping cart software; or more accurately, the way the merchant uses the software.

For example, if a cart application stores images in a database and a merchant decides to put 50 products on a single page; that’s a lot of database queries. Then add to that some heavy traffic and it can be a recipe for disaster. This type of scenario not only slows your site down, but web hosts will often zap shared hosting accounts that are creating too much load on the server – that’s the last thing you need in the midst of a busy time.

On a related note, image file size can be another common issue. I’ve seen some online stores using images over 1 megabyte in size. Whack a few of those on a page and you’ll have a slow site, guaranteed. Optimized, these images could be as little as 50kb without losing any of the viewing size or appreciable degradation of quality. Optimization isn’t hard to do and most graphics programs offer a compression wizard.


Shopping cart software review
Building an ecommerce site


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