Retailers in the US and UK will be planning now for the Black Friday weekend, which promises to be more testing than ever for their e-commerce websites and mobile apps.

Digital limitations are turning off more and more potential customers, according to the results of a consumer survey from Apica, the performance monitoring and testing experts.

The survey found that three quarters of respondents expect websites and apps to perform faster than they did three years ago, and 80% would consider telling friends about a poor website/app experience.

And Apica promises to tell even more people about those negative experiences in its Black Friday Web Performance Index, due to be published at the end of November.

Last year, it says, the Index revealed that whilst the top ten e-commerce websites are healthy, the rest are lagging expectations.

RRN tried clicking on the link to the 2016 Index and the page couldn’t be found, but that’s not to say a brand new Index won’t humiliate poor performers next November, unless they stress test their site quickly and take remedial action.

To find out about performance limitations, websites need to be tested under load and with full visibility into both application and infrastructure metrics, a service Apica provides.

The company says it can simulate real-world user behaviour from around the world – including mainland China – and test high traffic applications with confidence.

Apica conducted its consumer survey among internet users in the UK, US and Sweden, to investigate changing attitudes towards a brand’s digital performance.

The survey of 2,250 consumers reveals that nearly 40% won’t wait more than ten seconds for a website to respond before navigating away. One in nine users (11%) won’t even give a site five seconds before moving onto another website.

The survey also found that digital disappointment affects brand loyalty, with 60% of consumers likely to be less loyal towards a brand if they experience poor website or app performance.

Carmen Carey, CEO, Apica, said: “These results demonstrate that digital consumers have limited patience for slow performance or delays.”

The survey also revealed that users have limited patience for organisations that schedule maintenance on websites and apps. Less than half (46%) of users said that several hours of downtime was acceptable, and even then, reasons for the downtime had to be properly communicated. 54% respondents had an ‘upper limit’ of one hour, and more than 1/10 (13%) actually expect 100% uptime.

“If companies wish to retain both customers and revenue, they must focus on proactive performance testing and monitoring of their digital services to ensure that, even at peak times, downtime does not occur,” added Carmen.