More than two in five web users have abandoned an online purchase because the site was running too slow, says Fasthosts.

Research by the web hosting company, 80 percent of web users encounter a slow running when site when shopping online, while 30 percent said they expected online retail sites to be slower in the run up to Christmas.

Furthermore, 34 percent said encountering a slow running site would make them cancel the purchase and switch to a competitor and 28 percent admitted they experienced negative feelings to a retailer due to stress caused by slow running websites.

A quarter of web users also said retailers add too many seasonal products and offers during Christmas time, making it difficult to navigate round a site.

"Shoppers today are more impatient and unforgiving than ever before, and are ready to source an alternative. Retailers must ensure that their hosting responds dynamically with increases in demand or they will lose revenue and reputation," said Steve Holford from Fasthosts.

"In an attempt to maximise sales and reduce costs, many retailers can forget the basics of good web design and hosting. Retailers should review their web infrastructure before the Christmas rush, and make regular tests throughout the period to check that their hosting is coping with demand."

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See also: 1 in 6 Brits avoid online shops due to slow-loading sites