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THE STATE OF THE USER EXPERIENCE 2017

The State of the User Experience is part of Limelight Networks’ series of annual surveys that explore consumer perceptions and behaviors around online activities

MARKET RESEARCH

OVERVIEW

The State of the User Experience 2017 research report highlights the latest findings in an ongoing series of consumer surveys about online habits and opinions. This report is based on responses from consumers in France, India, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S. ranging in age, gender, and education who spend five or more hours online each week outside of work or school.

 

Respondents were asked questions on a variety of topics to determine the primary activities people engage in when online and what they think contributes to a successful online experience. Highlights of this report include:

 

  • -People are spending more time online outside of work. More than 45 percent of people are online more than 15 hours per week, a 64 percent increase in the last year.
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  • -People 18-35 spend more time online watching video than any other online activity. People 36-60 spend more time visiting social media sites than any other online activity. For those over 60, their top online activity is reading the news.
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  • -Globally, smartphones are the primary device used for online activities. Smartphones are the preferred device for accessing online content by people 45 and younger. People older than 45 prefer to use laptop computers.
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  • -The ability to easily search and find items on a website is the most important factor in deciding to make a purchase from a website.
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  • -Most consumers would recommend a brand based on a positive experience with a company’s website.
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  • -Nearly half of the population will not wait more than five seconds for a web page to load before leaving the site.
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  • -More than 43 percent of people will leave a website and purchase a product elsewhere if they feel the site is too slow.
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  • -Most people expect equally fast web performance on mobile devices such as smartphones and fixed devices such as laptop and desktop computers.
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  • -The number of people who will not return to a website after a slow experience has more than doubled in the last year.
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  • -Learning that a brand has experienced an online security breach negatively impacts brand perception for three-quarters of consumers.
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  • -More than 40 percent of consumers will not make online transactions on a website that has previously suffered an online security breach.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

People are spending more of their personal time engaged in online activities. More than 45 percent of people spend at least 15 hours online each week outside of work, a significant increase of 64 percent in the last year.

 

The most popular online activity is visiting social media sites, with people spending an average of 4 hours 14 minutes per week on social media. Watching online video is the second most popular activity at 3 hours 50 minutes per week. Reading news content is the third most popular activity at 3 hours 8 minutes per week, followed by researching products and online shopping at 3 hours 3 minutes.

 

Smartphones and laptop computers are the primary devices used for accessing online content, with smartphones the primary choice for women and people age 18-45, and laptops preferred by men and people 46 and older.

 

When deciding to purchase a product from a website, consumers ranked the ability to easily search and find what they’re looking for as their top criteria. Website performance was the second most important aspect of the online shopping experience, with almost half of online shoppers not willing to wait more than 5 seconds for a webpage to load before leaving an ecommerce site and purchasing a product elsewhere. A positive brand experience is important in not only keeping customers, but also in obtaining new ones as three-quarters of consumers would recommend a brand based upon a positive experience with a company’s website.

 

Online security breaches have a significant impact on a brand’s reputation with consumers and will cause long-term impacts to revenue. More than three-quarters of consumers have a more negative opinion of a brand after it experiences an online security breach. More than 40 percent will not continue to make online transactions on a website that has previously experienced an online security breach.

KEY FINDINGS

PEOPLE ARE INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF TIME SPENT ONLINE OUTSIDE OF WORK EACH WEEK

More than 45 percent of people spend at least 15 hours online each week outside of work for personal enjoyment engaged in activities such as watching online videos, visiting social media sites, shopping, and reading news.

 

Figure 1: How much time are you online each week outside of work?

 

The amount of time people are spending online has grown significantly during the last year. The number of people spending more than 15 hours online outside of work each week rose 64 percent from 27.8 percent of people in 2016 to 45.6 percent in 2017.

 

Figure 2: How much time are you online each week outside of work?

 

People in the U.K. and the U.S. spend the most time online, with more than 50 percent of people exceeding 15 hours. India had the lowest percentage of people online 15 hours or more at 32.6 percent.

 

Figure 3: How much time are you online each week outside of work?

 

People 18-25 spend the least amount of time online each week. People age 46 and older spend the most time online each week.

 

Figure 4: How much time are you online each week outside of work?

 

VISITING SOCIAL MEDIA SITES IS THE LEADING ONLINE ACTIVITY

How do people spend their time online? Visiting social media sites is the most popular online activity, with people spending an average of 4.23 hours per week on social media. Watching online video is the second most popular activity (3.83 hours per week), followed by reading news (3.14 hours), researching products and shopping (3.05 hours), and playing or watching video games (2.46 hours).

 

Figure 5: How many hours do you spend online each week doing the following?

 

Visiting social media sites is the most common activity in France, Philippines, the U.K., and the U.S. In India and South Korea, watching online video is the most common activity. In Japan, people spend more time reading online news than any other activity.

 

Figure 6: How many hours do you spend online each week doing the following?

 

Women spend more of their online time visiting social media sites and shopping than men, while men spend more time watching video content, reading news, and playing and watching video games.

 

Figure 7: How many hours do you spend online each week doing the following?

 

Preferred online activities vary by age. People 18-35 watch online video more than any other online activity, while those 36-60 visit social media sites most often. People over 60 spend more time reading online news content than any other online activity.

 

Figure 8: How many hours do you spend online each week doing the following?

 

SMARTPHONES ARE THE PRIMARY DEVICE USED FOR ONLINE ACTIVITIES

Smartphones and laptop computers are the devices of choice for spending time online. Desktop computers, tablets, and smart TVs are less commonly used.

 

Figure 9: How often do you use the following devices to access online content outside of work?
(Scale 0-4)

 

When analyzed by country, smartphones are the most commonly used device for online experiences in India, Philippines, and South Korea. Laptop computers are the primary choice in France, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.

 

Figure 10: How often do you use the following devices to access online content outside of work?
(Scale 0-4)

 

Women prefer smartphones for accessing online content, while men prefer laptop computers. Men also use desktop computers much more often than women.

 

Figure 11: How often do you use the following devices to access online content outside of work?
(Scale 0-4)

 

There is a generational divide in the use of smartphones and laptops. Smartphones are the primary device for people 45 and under, while laptop computers are preferred by those 46 and older.

 

Figure 12: How often do you use the following devices to access online content outside of work?
(Scale 0-4)

 

SEARCH AND SITE PERFORMANCE ARE TOP CONSIDERATIONS FOR CONSUMERS WHEN MAKING ONLINE PURCHASES

What is most important to consumers when making an online purchase? The ability to easily search and find what they’re looking for was the top criteria when ranking various aspects of the online shopping experience.

 

Figure 13: How important are each of the following when deciding to purchase a product from a website?
(Scale 0-4)

 

Consumers in every country favor websites with easy search capability, with the ability to easily search and find what I am looking for ranked as the top priority. Fast performance of websites was ranked second in every country except the Philippines, where positive reviews and feedback on social media was ranked second, and South Korea where the availability of online coupons was number two.

 

Figure 14: How important are each of the following when deciding to purchase a product from a website?
(Scale 1-4)

 

People 18-25 years old ranked positive reviews and feedback on social media and the ability to make a purchase from a mobile phone higher than any other age group. Respondents 26-35 rated availability of coupons and the ability to buy online and pick up in a store higher than any other age group.

 

Figure 15: How important are each of the following when deciding to purchase a product from a website?
(Scale 1-4)

 

POSITIVE ONLINE EXPERIENCES BUILD BRAND LOYALTY

The online experiences companies provide to their customers significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty. Globally, 74.6 percent of people would recommend a brand based upon a positive experience with a company’s website.

 

Figure 16: Are you likely to recommend a brand to a friend if you had a positive experience with its website?

 

However, cultural differences can have a major impact on how these experiences translate into word of mouth and willingness to share experiences with others. There is a significant gap between the 95.6 percent of Filipinos who would recommend a website based on prior experience and the 27.4 percent in Japan.

 

Figure 17: Are you likely to recommend a brand to a friend if you had a positive experience with its website?

 

People 26-35 are the most likely to recommend a brand based on their experience on the web at 82.3 percent, and people over 60 are the least likely at 61.1 percent.

 

Figure 18: Are you likely to recommend a brand to a friend if you had a positive experience with its website?

 

CONSUMERS HAVE NO PATIENCE FOR SLOW WEBSITES

Website performance has a significant impact on customer satisfaction and the success of an online brand. Nearly half of people are not willing to wait more than 5 seconds for a web page to load before leaving the site, and 19.2 percent will wait three seconds or less.

 

Figure 19: How long are you willing to wait for a website to load before you get frustrated or leave the site?

 

Website visitors in India and South Korea have the least patience for slow-loading websites, with only a third willing to wait 5 seconds or longer for a page to load before leaving. Consumers in France will wait longer than people in any other country, with 64.4 percent saying they are willing to wait more than 5 seconds.

 

Figure 20: How long are you willing to wait for a website to load before you get frustrated or leave the site?

 

People age 26-35 are least willing to wait for a slow website, with only 45 percent willing to wait more than 5 seconds. People over 60 will wait the longest.

 

Figure 21: How long are you willing to wait for a website to load before you get frustrated or leave the site?

 

FAST WEBSITE PERFORMANCE IS EXPECTED ON EVERY DEVICE

Consumers use many different devices to access the internet. While mobile devices may not offer the same connection speed as many fixed broadband connections, the majority of consumers (55.7 percent) expect web pages to load equally fast on both mobile devices and on fixed devices such as desktop and laptop computers.

 

Figure 22: Which of the following best describes your expectation for how quickly web pages will load on mobile and desktop devices?

 

Consumers in Japan have the highest expectations for performance on every device, with only 10.2 percent of people willing to wait longer for a web page to load on a mobile device.

 

Figure 23: Which of the following best describes your expectation for how quickly web pages will load on mobile and desktop devices?

 

Younger consumers are willing to wait longer for pages to load on mobile devices, with more than 30 percent of people age 18-35 willing to wait longer for a page to load on a mobile device. People 60 and older are willing to wait longest for a page to load on a laptop or desktop computer. Willingness to wait for a page to load reflects the primary device each age group uses to access websites.

 

Figure 24: Which of the following best describes your expectation for how quickly web pages will load on mobile and desktop devices?

 

CUSTOMERS WILL ABANDON SLOW WEB SITES AND PURCHASE ELSEWHERE

Website performance has a direct impact on revenue from online shopping. More than 43 percent of people will leave a website and buy a product elsewhere if they feel the site is too slow. Only one-third of people said they would make a purchase from a slow-loading website rather than going to a competitor.

 

Figure 25: When you shop online, do you leave a page and buy the product from a competitor if you have to wait too long for the page to load?

 

Patience for slow loading websites has dropped in the last year, with the number of people who say they will leave a slow website and purchase elsewhere up 13 percent from 2016.

 

Figure 26: When you shop online, do you leave a page and buy the product from a competitor if you have to wait too long for the page to load?

 

Consumers in India are the most likely to leave a website and purchase elsewhere when a site is slow. Consumers in the U.K. have the greatest patience.

 

Figure 27: When you shop online, do you leave a page and buy the product from a competitor if you have to wait too long for the page to load?

 

Men are more likely to abandon a slow website than women, with 46.3 percent saying they will purchase elsewhere if they have to wait too long.

 

Figure 28: When you shop online, do you leave a page and buy the product from a competitor if you have to wait too long for the page to load?

 

Consumers 26-35 are the most likely to leave a slow website, while those over 60 are most willing to wait.

 

Figure 29: When you shop online, do you leave a page and buy the product from a competitor if you have to wait too long for the page to load?

 

A SLOW WEB EXPERIENCE HAS A LONG-TERM EFFECT

A poor website experience can have a long-lasting business impact for online merchants. Almost 13 percent of consumers would not re-visit a website after leaving it due to slow performance.

 

Figure 30: If a website loads slowly, would you give it another try in the future?

 

The percentage of people who will not re-visit a website after previously experiencing slow performance has more than doubled in the last year from 6.1 percent to 12.7 percent.

 

Figure 31: If a website loads slowly, would you give it another try in the future? (2016 and 2017)

 

Consumers in Japan are the least likely to re-visit a slow performing website, with 25.6 percent saying they would not give a slow loading website another try in the future.

 

Figure 32: If a website loads slowly, would you give it another try in the future?

 

Men are less likely to visit a website in the future after experiencing slow performance, with almost 15 percent not willing to return.

 

Figure 33: If a website loads slowly, would you give it another try in the future?

 

ONLINE SECURITY BREACHES TARNISH BRAND PERCEPTION

With recent high-profile online security breaches making headlines, consumers are more conscious of how companies use and protect their personal information. Three-quarters of consumers have a more negative opinion of a brand after it experiences a security breach. More than 18 percent of people have an extremely negative brand perception after a breach.

 

Figure 34: When you hear of a company that has suffered an online security breach, does your opinion of the brand change?

 

Security breaches have the highest impact on brand perception in Japan, where more than a third of people have an extremely negative perception after a breach.

 

Figure 35: When you hear of a company that has suffered an online security breach, does your opinion of the brand change?

 

SECURITY BREACHES HAVE A LASTING BUSINESS IMPACT

Security breaches have a lasting business impact that extends beyond mitigating the circumstances that led to the breach. More than 40 percent of consumers will not continue making transactions on a website that has previously experienced a security breach.

 

Figure 36: Will you continue to make online transactions on a website that has previously suffered an online security breach?

 

Consumers in South Korea are the least likely to continue making online transactions on a website that has previously suffered a security breach, with 54.6 percent saying they would no longer make online transactions on the site.

 

Figure 37: Will you continue to make online transactions on a website that has previously suffered an online security breach?

 

Older consumers are least forgiving of security issues, with 48.8 percent of people over 60 saying they will stop transacting business on a website after it has been compromised.

 

Figure 38: Will you continue to make online transactions on a website that has previously suffered an online security breach?


CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

TO PROVIDE CONSUMERS WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE ONLINE EXPERIENCES THAT MAXIMIZE REVENUE AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION, ONLINE BRANDS SHOULD CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE

Smartphones have become the primary online device for global consumers. To maximize customer experiences and increase conversion rates, web content should be optimized for delivery and display on mobile devices as well as on fixed devices. Web pages, images, and videos need to be delivered in the format that is most appropriate to the device that will be displaying the content. Device detection technology can determine the device that is requesting content and the capabilities of the device in order to deliver an online experience that is optimized for both mobile and fixed devices.

MAKE IT EASY FOR CUSTOMERS TO FIND ITEMS

The most important aspect of the online shopping experience is the ability for customers to easily search and find what they are looking for. Websites need to include simple and intuitive search capabilities that allow customers to quickly locate all items that meet their purchase criteria. Results should be displayed in a manner that makes it easy for customers to quickly analyze search results using filtered or faceted navigation so they can easily identify the items that are most relevant.

DELIVER THE FASTEST ONLINE PERFORMANCE

Consumers expect fast online experiences and will abandon sites that do not meet their performance expectations. To ensure optimal delivery performance, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) with the capacity and reach required to provide the fastest experiences to consumers, wherever they may be located, should be utilized. Employ a CDN that delivers the fastest experiences over any type of network connection through monitoring a user’s connection and optimizing how content is delivered based on real-time analysis. This will ensure the fastest possible online experiences, regardless of whether a user has a low-bandwidth mobile connection or a high-speed fixed broadband connection.

IMPLEMENT CLOUD-BASED SECURITY SOLUTIONS

Security breaches have both an immediate and long-term impact on revenue. Many consumers will stop doing business with a website that has experienced a security breach. To protect your web infrastructure and sensitive customer data, use a Web Application Firewall (WAF) to protect web servers from malicious attacks. With a Web Application Firewall that is integrated between a CDN and the web application infrastructure, only requests for content that has not been previously cached need to be inspected by the WAF, increasing overall content delivery performance. In addition, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection should be implemented to ensure hackers are not able to take the site offline by overwhelming it with malicious traffic. For optimal performance under DDoS attack, DDoS mitigation should be implemented utilizing a CDN that has scrubbing centers integrated into its CDN network, rather than needing to divert traffic to a different network when scrubbing is required.

APPENDIX – DEMOGRAPHICS

 

Figure 39: How old are you?

 

Figure 40: What is your gender?

METHODOLOGY

This survey was fielded by a third-party company with access to consumer panels in France, India, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S. 500 responses were collected from each country for a total of 3,500 global responses. Survey responses were collected between October 6-1 1, 2017.

ABOUT LIMELIGHT NETWORKS

Limelight Networks, Inc., (NASDAQ: LLNW), a global leader in digital content delivery, empowers customers to better engage online audiences by enabling them to securely manage and globally deliver digital content, on any device. The company’s Limelight Orchestrate Platform includes a global infrastructure with a fully-integrated suite of capabilities and services to help you address all your content delivery needs. The Orchestrate Platform solves your most important content delivery challenges so you can deliver the next great digital experience anywhere. For more information, please visit www.limelight.com, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.