More than two-thirds (68%) of UK consumers feel their opinion of a brand would be negatively affected by website downtime, according to web hosting specialist Wirehive.

The survey of 1,000 UK consumers revealed the inconvenience of bad web hosting will put people off buying from brands in the long-term, as 57% felt they would avoid buying from a brand because of downtime. It also found negative experiences online are common, with 45% reporting they had been shut out of a website they were visiting with the aim to buy something in the week before they were polled. Over half of consumers (55%) reported difficulty in reaching a site to check a product or service out.

Wirehive's report, The Marketing Cost of Downtime, calls for marketers and brand owners to take heed of the financial and reputational risks of poor web hosting. Marketers appear more conscious of brand reputation and customer experience than their IT counterparts, but few are aware of technology infrastructure underpinning their digital services and the impact of web downtime. According to ClickZ, only 61% of marketers considered infrastructure at their organisation as “cutting edge”, compared to IT respondents (88%).

Robert Belgrave, CEO and founder of Wirehive, said: "Consumers, and to an extent marketers, take website hosting for granted. It’s easy to assume that enjoying an online browsing session or checking out at an e-commerce platform will be plain sailing. This report has highlighted how a broken online journey can ruin your brand’s reputation and, worse still, dent your sales. We’re on a mission to make understanding the intricacies of hosting and finding the right solution for your business, a marketing industry standard. Get it right and your customers will have a satisfying experience, while your organisation saves money and face. It’s time to change the way brands think about website hosting."

Rachel Morris, e-commerce manager at House of Hackney, said: “One of the main reasons we wanted a hosting company was to safeguard future growth. We have around 50,000 monthly visitors online and this will grow. It’s vital to have a hosting environment that can support growth, and give us 100% uptime and a fast website. I do think most brands understand the need for hosting. Unfortunately, however, it’s often seen as a nerdy and dry subject, so it’s not always prioritised. For us, it’s about staying online, avoiding poor site performance and supporting our customer journeys.”


By Jonathan Davies, editor, Digital Marketing Magazine

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