Technical issues disrupt m-commerce

29 September 2014

HONG KONG: More than three-quarters (78%) of consumers in Asia Pacific experience technical issues when browsing sites on their smartphones, which affects their purchase decisions and perceptions about a brand, a new report has found.

A full 28% say they would not buy from an m-commerce site if they experience a technical difficulty, according to Rackspace, the cloud service provider, which polled 1,200 consumers aged 22-44 in Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

And more than nine in ten (93%) say their perception of a brand is affected if its website has consistent problems, Retail in Asia reported.

"Ecommerce companies need to realise the severity of poorly managed m-commerce sites and the impact it's having on consumers," said Ajit Melarkode, managing director of Rackspace Asia Pacific.

"Downtime or timed-out errors are not only causing consumer frustrations, but they're also enabling consumers to forego purchasing. A five second delay in page loading can be the difference in a sale or not," he warned.

Slow page loading is the number one frustration across the region and is felt most acutely in Hong Kong.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of consumers in Hong Kong say this is the top challenge among server-related technical problems, followed by consumers in Singapore (58%) and India (54%).

Scaling issues affect 39% of consumers in the three countries surveyed – Singapore (46%), Hong Kong (40%) and India (31%) – while page freezing is the third most prevalent technical problem.

Nearly all consumers (97%) feel a level of frustration with websites and one-fifth close the site and move on if they experience a technical problem, CIO India reported.

In addition, 40% say they would wait 6-10 seconds for the webpage to load before leaving a site, while only a quarter say they would wait longer than 15 seconds for a webpage to load before leaving.

Adam McCarthy, director and general manager of Rackspace Asia, suggested brands should join forces with an IT hosting partner that can manage, scale and support their website.

"To retain customers on your m-commerce site, performance and support is key," he said.

Data sourced from Retail in Asia, CIO India; additional content by Warc staff