New Consumer Report Ranks Security at Top of UK Web Users’ Agenda

Akamai Technologies, Inc., the global leader in content delivery network (CDN) services, has launched a new report which outlines consumer attitudes towards using the web for e-commerce and financial services. Insight was sought from consumers in the UK, United States, France, Germany and Japan which has enabled Akamai to assess experiences and expectations when using websites, including page load expectations, device preference and reactions to poor web experiences. 

The Akamai report, Performance Matters, was developed from findings in the 2014 Consumer Web Performance Expectation Survey conducted for Akamai by Taylor Nelson Sofres. It involved 3487 respondents across all five countries.

Whilst consumer expectations across all the countries surveyed were quite consistent, there were distinct areas in which the UK stood out. For example, UK consumers have the highest expectations for secure web experiences, with 76% expecting their ‘personal information to be kept secure and private’. For 57% of surveyed UK consumers, websites must be easy to use and simple to understand. And 45% of respondents expect the website to be fast.

When asked what issues caused dissatisfaction, 57% of UK consumers cited a slow response from websites, and 55% said it was lack of website availability. The latter does correlate to web application attack metrics in the UK, highlighted by Akamai’s State of the Internet report, which shows that UK websites were the third most targeted for web application attacks. In addition, there has been a notable rise in DDoS attack IP’s originating from the UK in recent months.

UK consumers do not react well to bad web experiences, with 58% saying that they are less likely to visit the website again and 45% abandoning the process and completing it using a different site. Over a third will also have a more negative perception of the company.

Focusing on e-commerce

The survey also gathered industry-specific data in the e-commerce sector, which found that online shoppers’ top three weekly activities across devices were search (50% weekly, 12% daily); compare prices (45%  weekly, 9% daily) and read reviews (40% weekly, 7% daily). In terms of buying, 36% made a purchase weekly and 5% on a daily basis, putting the UK ahead of all other countries when it comes to ecommerce.

By device, mobile users buy the most frequently by a significant margin, double the frequency of desktop users and 10% more than tablet users. Nearly half of UK users on mobile purchase a product weekly, representing the highest mobile buying frequency of any country surveyed and 10% more than the second highest country.  Whilst 24% of users who purchased a product weekly on desktop seems low compared to mobile, it is the highest weekly desktop buy of any country surveyed.

Conversely, when asked which device UK consumers prefer for e-commerce, they cite desktop by a considerable margin.

“We have seen that UK consumers are quick and decisive in their buying habits, and that mobile and tablet users have high web performance expectations, even higher than users on desktop. We have to conclude that despite the convenience of mobile and tablets, they are still disappointed with performance on these devices and ‘prefer’ the performance and functionality of desktops,” commented Alex Keith, UK & Ireland Regional Sales Manager at Akamai. “It is a clear message to e-commerce retailers to deliver fast, secure, reliable web experiences regardless of device or location.”

To download the report please go to: