Retailers Risk Losing Sales with Slow Sites

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 11 Sep, 2015

A new Web performance report from Radware is shedding light on the negative impact slow sites will have on sales this holiday season.


In fact, the "State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance Summer 2015" report shows that only 12 percent of the top 100 ecommerce sites (ranked by number of site visits) are currently meeting customer expectations for both content and page speed. What's more, 14 percent of top retailer sites take more than 10 seconds just to become functional, which is an increase from 9 percent in February 2015.


"No retailer wants to abandon up to 57 percent of their inbound site traffic, especially during the holiday selling season," said Kent Alstad, VP of Acceleration, Radware. "Retailers must invest in user experience for online customers, and that includes both content and page load time. Serving more content to customers is expected but the goal is delivering more content, faster. That's the 'magic formula.' Web performance optimization, or lack thereof, will directly impact the bottom line for retailers this holiday season."


The report suggests that site owners are adding more features to their sites due to consumers' increasing expectations. Despite adding features, site owners are not taking advantage of core optimization techniques, which leads to increasing page size and complexity that typically result in slower load times.


For instance, the data shows that the median page is 1945 KB in size and contains 169 resource requests. This results in the median Time to Interact (TTI) being 5.5 seconds, which is slower than the recommended 3 seconds. Moreover, the slowest page on the top 100 retailer list had a TTI of 34.1 seconds.


It is also worth noting that Radware's report offers some tips for retailers who want to speed up their sites before the holiday season. For example, the company suggests reformatting images to avoid wasting bandwidth with unnecessarily high resolution. Additionally, sites can display their heavier content below the fold to allow a faster loading experience, as well as consolidate JavaScript and CSS into common files.