Retailers Beware: Radware Study Reveals Strong Correlation Between Slow Network Speed and Brand Perception

Retailers Beware: Radware Study Reveals Strong Correlation Between Slow
Network Speed and Brand Perception

Retailers Must Improve Site Load Times to Drive Positive Brand Perception and
Emotional Engagement

MAHWAH, N.J., Dec. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Radware^® (Nasdaq:RDWR), a
leading provider of application delivery and application security solutions
for virtual and cloud data centers, today released new research revealing that
network speed deeply impacts consumers at every phase of the transaction
process, particularly users of mobile devices. The report, entitled "Mobile
Web Stress: The Impact of Network Speed on Emotional Engagement and Brand
Perception," shows that even moderately slower connection speeds result in
significant increases in user frustration and decreases in engagement.

In order to accurately assess consumers' neurological and emotional reactions
to slow load times, this unique study was conducted using a set of
methodologies -- electroencephalography (EEG) and eyetracking technologies
combined with Implicit Response Testing -- to examine how, on a
moment-by-moment basis, positive and negative emotions are triggered. Using
specialized software, researchers slowed down the network speed on mobile
devices and compared the experience to a standard wireless connection. The
test was designed and conducted by a team of global specialists from Seren
(leader in customer experience and service design), Neurosense (leader in
implicit methodologies), and NeuroStrata (consultants in blending
neuromarketing applications). Slow-loading sites were tested using the latest
consumer neuroscience techniques to elicit response patterns and emotional
engagement at a non-conscious level.

"Our study proves that brand perception is based on more than a powerful logo
or smart marketing strategy," said Tammy Everts, web performance evangelist,
Radware. "A consumer's online shopping experience greatly affects their
feelings about a retailer, and because these feeling are happening at a
non-conscious, pre-cognitive level, they are beyond the control of site
owners. A slow site and poor user interface can be detrimental – potentially
negating other, more expensive, branding efforts."

Sites of four major U.K. brands were tested as part of this study: John Lewis,
Tesco, EasyJet and Ryanair. The three-part study incorporated several
methodologies and analyzed the emotional engagement, positive and negative
responses, and attitudes and associations of users when asked to complete
tasks on the brands' sites. Key findings from the study include:

  *Slow connection speeds are likely to lead to higher levels of frustration
    and lower levels of emotional engagement. Browsing is twice as likely as
    the checkout to be frustrating when slow.
  *The negative impact of slow network speed is not restricted to just the
    immediate customer frustration and loss of business through the site – it
    deeply impacts the long-term brand perception of the retailer, making
    potential customers less likely to return.
  *Slow performance affected non-performance issues such as quality of
    content, visual design, and ease of navigation.
  *The brand damage inflicted by slow sites and poor user experience can
    translate directly to negative impact on purchase intent across other
    channels and touch points.

"These findings should be a huge red flag for retail brand managers,
especially as mobile is at the point of overtaking desktop in terms of user
share," added Everts. "More than ever, people are browsing and buying on
mobile, and slow pages are one of the top issues that mobile users complain
about. Fortunately, there are tools available, as well as best practices that
businesses can implement today to help alleviate this high risk. These include
implementing an automated web performance solution and ensuring that you are
testing your site on a variety of devices, browsers and real-world connection
speeds."

For the complete version of "Mobile Web Stress: The Impact of Network Speed on
Emotional Engagement and Brand Perception" along with video interviews of
Tammy Everts discussing web performance and its challenges, visit:
http://www.radware.com/mobile-eeg2013/.

About Radware

Radware (Nasdaq:RDWR), is a global leader of application delivery and
application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers. Its
award-winning solutions portfolio delivers full resilience for
business-critical applications, maximum IT efficiency, and complete business
agility.

Radware's solutions empower more than 10,000 enterprise and carrier customers
worldwide to adapt to market challenges quickly, maintain business continuity
and achieve maximum productivity while keeping costs down. For more
information, please visit www.radware.com.

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