Individuals and businesses selling things online and using parcel delivery services have been reminded of the importance of giving potential buyers a good first impression.
The latest IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Index revealed that bounce rates - the proportion of visitors who enter and leave a site having only viewed one page - hit 27 per cent during the first quarter of 2012.
This figure is the highest recorded in the two years the index has been tracking this particular piece of data.
Bounce rates have been consistently rising since the first quarter of 2010, when they were measured at 21 per cent.
This trend shows that consumers are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of finding the right products and expecting a certain type of online shopping experience, according to IMRG.
Tim Spooner, the e-retail industry association's chief information officer, noted that the range of choice available to internet shoppers has always presented a challenge for people and organisations selling things on the web.
He added: "These figures show that consumers are becoming ever more demanding when finding the online experience that suits them.
"Retailers need to ensure that the site is as engaging as possible for their customer demographic, looking at usability, social elements and performance through key channels and browsers.
"For online consumers, it would appear that first impressions really matter."
The latest figures from IMRG and Capgemini also highlighted the growth of sales via mobile devices, including tablets, which accounted for 8.2% of all e-retail transactions in the first three months of 2012.
During the first quarter of 2010, just 0.4 per cent of online sales were completed on mobiles.
Chris Webster, head of retail and technology at Capgemini, said many consumers are now more concerned about being without their mobile phone than their wallet.
He also noted that the retail industry is yet to fully appreciate the impact and potential of the devices.
Author: Adrian Medland