No web site operator should be surprised to learn that almost all consumers find pop-up ads annoying. But a new survey by web site hosting company Hostway Inc. reports the consequences of giving users an annoying experience-with pop-up ads or any other elements.
More than 70% of consumers told Hostway they’re unlikely to purchase from, or even return to, a web site after encountering a pet peeve. And, because only 25% of consumers say they’ll complain to the companies about their pet peeves, the use of features that annoy consumers may be having a negative impact that’s difficult to trace or measure, Hostway says.
“The results of this survey are a clear warning to e-businesses,” said John Lee, vice president of marketing at Hostway. “The Internet has matured to the point where consumers demand an easy online experience. Quite simply, consumers are warning companies, ‘You’re going to lose my business if your web site experience is annoying.’”
According to the survey:
• 93% of consumers say pop-up ads are annoying or extremely annoying
• 89% are annoyed at the need to install extra software
• 86% said dead links are annoying or extremely annoying
• 84% said confusing navigation is annoying or extremely annoying
• 83% express annoyance with registration log-on pages that block access to online content
• 83% said slow-loading pages are annoying or extremely annoying
• 80% said ineffective site-search tools are annoying or extremely annoying
Comparatively fewer consumers ranked aesthetic characteristics of web sites annoying or extremely annoying: 59% of consumers think moving text is annoying or extremely annoying 55% feel strongly that poor appearance in regard to color, fonts and format are annoying or extremely annoying.
This survey also measured the likelihood of other consumer responses when encountering their top pet peeves: 74% are extremely or somewhat likely to unsubscribe from the company’s promotions or messages 71% are extremely or somewhat likely to view the company in a negative way 55% are extremely or somewhat likely to complain about the web site to friends/associates
“In an increasingly Internet-focused world, consumers have many choices,” said Lee. “These results clearly show that consumers will make a behavioral change if they encounter a web site that annoys them. In the context of this research, small and medium-sized businesses have the opportunity to analyze their web sites and make appropriate changes.”
Market research firm TNS conducted the survey for Hostway between July 7-11 questioning 2,500 adult consumers nationwide about their Web site pet peeves.