Chicago, Illinois- (via THE
HOSTING NEWS) – August 2, 2005 – As small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs)
continue leveraging their online presence to build their business, consumers
are demanding more, and tolerating less, from the web sites they frequent according
to survey data gathered by Hostway Corp..
A new national survey of consumer ”pet peeves” about commercial web sites
identifies some of the top offenders as pop-up ads, registration log-on pages
and eye-catching Flash software. This may be bad news for businesses that rely
on these tactics to encourage, track or engage their current and potential customers.
What’s more, in responding to the survey commissioned by web hosting company
Hostway Corp., more than 70 percent of consumers say they’re unlikely to purchase
from, or even return to, a web site after encountering these pet peeves. And,
because only 25 percent of consumers say they’ll complain to the companies about
their pet peeves, the use of these online annoyances may be having a negative
impact that’s difficult to trace or measure.
John Lee, Vice President of Marketing at Hostway explains, ”The results of
this survey are a clear warning to e-businesses. 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
According to the survey results, a whopping 93 percent of consumers say pop-up
ads are annoying or extremely annoying; 89 percent are annoyed at the need to
install extra software, and 83 percent express annoyance with registration log-on
pages that block access to online content.
This survey also measured the likelihood of other consumer responses when encountering
their top pet peeves:
— Seventy-four percent are extremely or somewhat likely to unsubscribe from
the company’s promotions or messages
— Seventy-one percent are extremely or somewhat likely to view the company
in a negative way
— Fifty-five percent 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, SMBs have the opportunity to analyze their Web sites and make appropriate
What irks consumers the most? The survey asked consumers to rank their most
annoying Web site pet peeve and 35 percent of consumers responded that pop-up
ads are their number one pet peeve. Directly following are requirement to register
and log-on before viewing a site (at 17 percent) and requiring the installation
of extra software to view the site (at 16 percent).
Additionally, the survey presented a list of web site quirks and asked consumers
to describe each one on a scale of annoyance:
— Eighty-six percent of consumers stated that dead links are annoying or
— Eighty-four percent stated that confusing navigation is annoying or extremely
— Eighty-three percent of consumers stated that slow-loading pages are annoying
or extremely annoying
— Slightly over eighty percent of consumers stated that ineffective site-search
tools are annoying or extremely annoying
Comparatively fewer consumers ranked aesthetic characteristics of web sites
annoying or extremely annoying:
— Fifty-nine percent of consumers think moving text is annoying or extremely
— Fifty-five percent of consumers feel strongly that poor appearance in regard
to color, fonts and format are annoying or extremely annoying.
The survey data additionally identifies differences between genders, generations
and income levels. Survey results suggest that women and those beyond 60 years
of age are more likely to have a strong opinion on their pet peeves, regardless
of their income or geographic locations. Consumers with an income greater than
$90,000 and those aged 40 to 49 had the highest percentage of respondents naming
pop-up ads as their top pet peeves.
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.
To obtain top-line survey results please visit: http://www.hostway.com/media/survey/petpeeves.html.