Walgreens wins as the fastest e-commerce site during the holiday season

December 28, 2015 02:51 PM

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. gave its online shoppers the gift of speed this holiday season.

That’s according to a just-released survey from website monitoring firm Catchpoint Systems, which measured the load time and availability on both mobile and desktop of the top 50 online retailers in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide from 23 locations across the U.S. at five-minute intervals. Web-page load time is the time it takes for enough page elements to load for a customer to start interacting with a page, Catchpoint Systems says.

Catchpoint ranked Walgreens as having the speediest e-commerce website during the holiday season with an average load time of 1.41 seconds. Meanwhile, apparel manufacturer and retailer Gap Inc.’s site loaded the fastest on mobile devices, clocking an average load time of 1.11 seconds.

The sites were ranked based on median webpage load times taken cumulatively from Nov. 25 through midnight Dec. 26. Catchpoint says an acceptable web page load time for customers is in the 2-second range.

Catchpoint CEO Mehdi Daoudi says retailers are still loading their websites with too many images, causing them to consume an unnecessary amount of consumers’ mobile-device bandwidth.

“Let’s say a shopper has a 10-gigabyte mobile phone plan, that gets swallowed up very quickly when she downloads a 5-megabyte website,” he says.

Several online retailers experienced outages or delays during peak holiday shopping periods, including luxury retailer Neiman Marcus (No. 43 in the Top 500 Guide), which was not available for much of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Online electronics retailer Newegg Inc. (No. 17) experienced a slowdown on its desktop e-commerce site early on Black Friday, and when Target Corp. (No. 16) couldn’t handle online traffic spikes on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, it placed consumers in a queue to get access.

Walgreens (No. 44) declined comment. Gap (No. 18) could not be reached for immediate comment.

The five fastest-loading e-commerce sites, according to Catchpoint, were:

  • Walgreens, 1.41 seconds
  • Apple Inc., 1.50 – tie
  • Staples Inc., 1.50 – tie
  • Victoria’s Secret, 1.59
  • The Home Depot Inc., 1.64

The five fastest-loading mobile sites were:

  • Gap (1.11 seconds)
  • Amway (1.20)
  • Inc. (1.25)
  • Apple (1.26)
  • Office Depot Inc.(1.30) 



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