MELBOURNE: Web users around the world have strikingly divergent online priorities, though ease of use is a key quality of the most successful sites, a global survey has indicated.

The Online Consumer Behaviour report, compiled by Australian digital researchers Webreep, used data from 36,000 consumers in seven nations to track the relative importance given to ten different site attributes.

Behavioural data from the consumer panel indicated that user-friendliness was the top-rated attribute, with four of the seven markets ranking it in the top three.

"Ease of use trumped all other constructs in the Webreep model in terms of sprouting strongly loyal satisfied customers," Dr Brent Coker, head of Webreep, said.

"Satisfied customers are more loyal, tend to spend more, and are likely to refer others. Those websites that had the highest scores for satisfaction, loyalty, and word-of-mouth were those that were the easiest to use."

But the report revealed differences in online priorities between nations regarding other attributes.

For example, website attractiveness was seen as relatively unimportant in Spain, where users rated the attribute 59% lower than their French counterparts and 60% below those in the US.

Meanwhile, American consumers were by far the most trusting of the markets measured, scoring 33% higher on this measure than Russia, the least-trusting nation.

Data sourced from Webreep; additional content by Warc staff