Websites must provide a "rapid retailing" experience if they want to expand their consumer sales, according to research.

YouGov polled almost 2,000 UK adults and found that online shoppers were becoming increasingly impatient about getting to the things they were interested in online.

Driven by the instant nature of digital technology and the proliferation of mobile devices, YouGov said consumers expect instant access to product information and to move effortlessly between mobile and online retail channels.

They also want very short delivery times. The survey, commissioned by Cable & Wireless Worldwide, shows that price continues to be important for shoppers, with more than half saying cheap prices are their number one priority when choosing a retailer.

The desire for a rapid experience is underscored by a lack of tolerance for slow websites, with nearly half (46 percent) of online shoppers saying they will switch to another retailer's website if they experience a 30 second delay.

Expectations continue to be high when it comes to speed of delivery, with three quarters of consumers expecting deliveries to arrive within two days of order.

Diane McAuliffe, director of retail, leisure and logistics at Cable & Wireless Worldwide, said, "Retailers are operating in a world where speed and convenience are determining shopper behaviour. It's a big shift and retailers that want to remain competitive must adapt and provide a 'rapid retailing' experience."

In online retail news, Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana recently took steps to accelerate its website performance. Using hosted cloud technology from Akamai, Dolce & Gabbana reduced average page load times to under 1.5 seconds and improved download speeds for both web and mobile web visitors.