Study: Top retail websites getting slower

New York -- Retail websites are getting slower … fast, according to a report by Radware, a provider of application delivery and application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers. In just one year, median time to interact (TTI) has slowed down by 27% (from 4.9 seconds to 6.2 seconds), and median load time has suffered a 49% increase (from 7.2 seconds to 10.7 seconds).

The quarterly study titled “State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance, Summer 2014,” finds that of the top 100 retail websites, the median page has grown 67% in just one year and many are failing to leverage advanced techniques to help accelerate their pages.  

According to the survey, use of images is one of the single performance drains, as most site owners are not taking advantage of image optimization techniques that can dramatically improve both real and perceived load times.

Radware also found that performance degradation continues to escalate as retail web pages grow larger and more complex. The median top 100 ecommerce home page takes six seconds or longer to render its primary content to online visitors – a 27% slowdown over the past year. This render time is more than twice as slow as the ideal user experience of three seconds or less.

Only 14% of the top 100 retail sites were able to deliver an optimal user experience. 17% took ten or more seconds just to be become interactive.

“We’re so accustomed to expecting to see high-quality images everywhere on the web that we take them for granted and don’t think about their heavy performance impact,” says Kent Alstad, VP of acceleration for Radware. “Page size has a direct impact on page speed, and images comprise at least half a typical page’s weight. As such, they represent an extremely fertile ground for optimization. Yet we found that many leading retailers are not taking advantage of techniques such as image compression and progressive image rendering, which can enhance both load times and user experience.”

To access the full report, which includes 15 best practices that site owners can implement to accelerate their pages, visit Radware.com/summer-sotu2014.

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