A new survey of online consumers has found that they really don’t like pop-up ads and flash animation on a website, along with dead links, poorly designed navication, and sites at which you have to register to get to where you want to go.
They needed a survey for this? I’m sure that any of us could have told them that.
CHICAGO, Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ — 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.
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
What’s more, in responding to the survey commissioned by Web hosting
leader 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.
“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 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
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— 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
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“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
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).
How annoying are they?
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
— 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
— Fifty-five percent of consumers feel strongly that poor appearance in
regard to color, fonts and format are annoying or extremely annoying.
Gender, Generation and Income
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
Market research firm TNS conducted the survey for Hostway between July
7-11 questioning 2,500 adult consumers nationwide about their Web site pet
To obtain top-line survey results please visit
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