According to a report released yesterday by WatchMouse, a Dutch consulting company, only a few Spanish online shops are ready for the pre-Christmas rush of online shopping. Most of them take ages to load, often users lose the connection inexplicably and in general the quality of online services is low.
Watchmouse has published its result after a detailed analysis of 10 online shops carried out over the past 38 days. The report concludes that during this period, performance of 9 out of 10 online shops was below required standards.
Out of all the 10 sites analyzed, only Carrefour offered 99.9% availability, which is considered to be the minimum standard. The online services of Spanish supermarket Mercadona and computer store AreaPC were the worst. The study was carried out by entering the homepage of each online shop every five minutes between 25th October and 2nd December and checking that it downloaded in 8 minutes or less without error.
Despite increased public investment in the e-commerce sector in Spain in recent years, this government and the last have ultimately failed to substantially boost use of the Internet in this country.
Despite growing optimism in the sector last year, Spain continues to languish at the rear end of all EU rankings related to e-commerce and Internet usage among member states. According to a recent survey in El País, over 63 percent of Spaniards still don’t use Internet. And most sectors are struggling to put together an efficient online service.
Even though most supermarkets offer online shopping, airlines and other transport services offer online booking and most Spanish banks offer electronic banking, the vast majority of Spaniards still tend to do the weekly shop at the supermarket, book their holidays at the local travel agent, and visit their bank to do transactions.
Judging by the results of the recent WatchMouse survey, retailers in Spain still have a long way to go if they are to pursuade an Internet-reticent population to embrace online services.