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E-retailers win the race for site load times

March 23, 2016 02:51 PM
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Online retail performs better than other industries when it comes to giving visitors a chance to interact with their sites quickly on desktop computers.

E-commerce sites had an average time-to-interact, which is defined as “the point at which primary page content renders and becomes interactive,” of 3.1 seconds, according to a study by Radware, an application delivery and cyber security software provider. “Nearly half of the top 50 shopping sites load in 3 seconds or less,” the study says.

The “2016 State of the Union: Multi-Industry Web Performance” report, released Tuesday, involved tests on the top 50 websites in four industries—e-commerce, news and media, sports, and travel and hospitality—as ranked by SimilarWeb’s Website Rankings. Here is how the other three industries performed:

  • News & Media: 4.1 seconds
  • Travel & Hospitality: 4.1 seconds
  • Sports: 5.2 seconds

While online retailers ranked as the fastest of the four industries measured, it’s not necessarily all good news for those merchants because a 2010 report found that more than half of consumers—57%—“would abandon a web page after waiting three seconds for it to load.” This oft-cited three second baseline stems from a 2010 online survey from content delivery network and web security firm Akamai, which asked 2,763 U.S.-based respondents about their shopping behavior. A Radware spokeswoman says they continue to test against the three-second rule because it remains the industry standard.

Among the fastest online retail sites to load was Latin American online marketplace Mercado Livre, which had an average time-to-interact of 1.6 seconds. Mercado Livre is the Brazil site operated by Mercado Libre, the largest operator of online marketplaces in Latin America. Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, took an average of 1.8 seconds to load to the point where shoppers were able to interact with it.

Here’s how other noteworthy e-commerce giants performed when it came to the amount of time it took for shoppers to interact with the site:

  • Target: 2.8 seconds. Target Corp. is No. 16 in the Top 500.
  • Ikea: 1.8 seconds. Ikea is No. 67 in the Internet Retailer Europe 500.
  • eBay: 2.4 seconds
  • Best Buy: 2.9 seconds. Best Buy Co. Inc. is No. 14 in the Top 500.
 

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