E-commerce vendors have been urged to make sure that their web sites can cope with surges in demand over the Christmas period if they plan to deploy video content.
Web hosting provider Hostway described video content as a "ticking time bomb for online retailers", arguing that a large number of users accessing video at the same time could severely affect performance.
"As home users get more bandwidth, their expectation of what the internet should provide increases," said Hostway product manager Thomas Herbert.
"Before, if you ran a DVD store you would display cover images of the titles, but now there is a need to provide short clips of the DVDs."
Herbert recommended online shopping sites seek out hosting providers that can offer content delivery networks which serve content from localised servers, and can therefore cope better with peaks in demand.
"Customers online are never patient," he said. "If you do provide video content then you need to provide it 'on click' because you'll come across as unprofessional if you don't."
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