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High street retailers need to go back to basics to secure online customer loyalty

RBR Staff Writer Published 13 July 2015

Citrix has today announced the results of an online YouGov survey into consumer preferences when shopping online.

The findings, released in tandem with the launch of the Citrix Retail Website Speed League[2], have revealed that the performance and functionality of a retailer's website is more important to consumers than its design or look.

Polling of online shoppers in Great Britain found that 67% viewed the speed of a website as important as opposed to only 15% who viewed sleek design as a priority. 69% of individuals stated they were fairly or very likely to use a different website to buy a product if their chosen site was loading too slowly, highlighting a fickle streak in British online shoppers.

However, 59% of online consumers claimed they are loyal to high street retailers when they shop online. This split between remaining loyal whilst having a need for speed suggests traditional high street retailers are operating on borrowed time. Consumers are demanding fast, responsive and easy to use websites at the same time as wanting to remain loyal to high street retailers. Retailers need to ensure that they aren't taking online shoppers for granted and are offering them the online experience they demand.

To help illustrate this challenge, Citrix has developed the Citrix Retail Speed League which collates freely available data from website speed measurement site GTMetrix[3] to rank the UK's leading retailers by website performance.[4]

The Citrix Retail Speed League reveals that the House of Fraser and Thomson Holidays have the best performing websites in the UK with A grade rankings, while Sainsbury's trails behind with only a D.


Citrix UK & Ireland country manager Jason Tooley said: "Growing online sales is key to the future of the UK's largest retailers. The YouGov research has highlighted that consumers prefer websites that are quick and easy to use when purchasing goods.

"When considered alongside the results of the Citrix Retail Speed League it's clear that some retailers have got this balance right, with websites responsive to customer needs. In contrast, other retailers need to review the performance of their online channels carefully to ensure they are not being held back by substandard technology which is delivering a weaker customer experience."

Source: Company Press Release