Christmas shopping rage is not just confined to seemingly never ending lines at busy department stores.
A new report has revealed that almost 70 per cent of shoppers experienced online frustrations last Christmas, with more than 40 per cent either abandoning their purchase completely or trying a different website.
The top Yuletide gripes cited in the RackSpace study were complicated check-out procedures (27 per cent) and slow-loading websites (12 per cent).
The report, which surveyed 1000 Australians, also found the average individual's Christmas present budget to be $375, with 74 per cent of that group planning to do at least some of their shopping on line.
This indicates that the share of the colossal Christmas pudding each retailer will get is dependent on the online experience they provide customers.
Intershop managing director, Albert Woo, said it was extremely important to provide the best user experience to your end customers.
“To deliver on the core essentials and to back that with a top shelf customer care unit could be the difference between success and failure,” he said.
“There's no excuse for not having a website fully optimised for the Christmas rush.
He said many of the pet peeves from respondents could be easily foreseen and could be planned and tested for in advance of any traffic spikes.
“Not planning for the festive crowds is a missed opportunity when you consider how much business can be lost simply because you didn't take the time to test your site and provide a great online customer experience," he said.
The Rackspace study also reveals that a massive 75 per cent of respondents intend to buy at least some element of their Christmas online – from gifts (59 per cent) to Christmas drinks (11 per cent) and travel tickets to see family or friends (17 per cent).
On Christmas Day, 53 per cent of respondents intend to send season’s greetings to friends and family and post pictures of their celebrations using cloud-powered social media channels.
Others will be playing online games (16 per cent), surfing the web (14 per cent) and watching on demand TV (7 per cent). It’s a similar picture on Boxing Day, with 58 per cent going online.
This year, 13 per cent of those surveyed will be shopping online using a tablet. This is a substantial increase from the 7 per cent who shopped in this way last year.
Similarly, smartphone usage for online purchases is up from 7 per cent last year to almost 11 per cent this year.
Over a third of Australian adults (34 per cent) are planning to give someone a connected device – such as a tablet or smartphone – for Christmas, and the same again (34 per cent) are expecting to receive a connected device.
Angus Dorney, Director and General Manager at Rackspace Australia, said the results from this study suggested strongly that all businesses with an online presence - not just retailers - must be more prepared than ever before for the Christmas rush.
“With an increasing trend towards increased connectivity, it is vital that online companies have the hosting infrastructure and support in place to deal with spikes in traffic over the entire festive season,” he said.
"Load testing your site and ensuring it is capable of handling increased traffic can mean the difference between keeping and losing customers.”