The top U.S. retailers’ web sites are barely keeping up with customers, according to a report by Radware, a provider of application delivery and application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers. Now in its fifth edition, the “State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance, Summer 2013” study reveals that websites for the top 500 U.S. retailers continue to slow down, a 13.7% drop since spring 2012. Site owners who do not implement core best practices, critically affect website performance and customer experience, according to the report.
Radware tested the website performance of the top 500 U.S. retail websites over a two-week period. Below are key findings from the study:
• Web pages continue to slow down. The median load time is 7.72 seconds, a slowdown of 13.7% since Spring 2012.
• Adoption of performance best practices has either plateaued or is on the decline. Site owners who neglect core best practices miss out on the opportunity to make relatively easy performance gains.
• Across all three major browsers, performance has either plateaued or is trending downward. Browser vendors are challenged to keep pace with the demands of today’s large, complex, dynamic web pages.
• Additionally, the report revealed that the median time to interact (TTI) is 4.9 seconds. (TTI is the point at which a page displays its primary interactive content, such feature banners with functional call-to-action buttons.) Of the top 100 e-commerce sites tested, only 8% of the top 100 sites had a sub-2-second TTI, while 9% had a TTI time of eight or more seconds.
• “These findings are startling – retailers still don’t realize that they are losing customers by neglecting core best practices,” said Tammy Everts, web performance evangelist, Radware. “Fifty-seven percent of consumers will abandon a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. Web pages need to work smarter and harder. Site owners not only need to adopt core best practices, but also utilize advanced techniques that optimize the browser’s efficiency.”