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Online retailers see web performance standards slip in second quarter of 2013

Latest research has shown that the websites of the UK’s 50 busiest online retailers could have performed better in the second quarter of 2013 as consumers put up with a slower and less responsive shopping experience.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Online retailers see web performance standards slip in second quarter of 2013

Findings from NCC Group’s quarterly online retail report, which analyses the average download speed and uptime of the UK’s 50 busiest retail websites, show that average download speed came in at 6.7 seconds (2Mbps connection). This was longer than 6.27 seconds recorded in Q1 and well short of the 3 second target that most online retailers aim for to prevent customers moving on to other websites.

Website downtime, when a site is inaccessible to users, also increased with the top 50 averaging a downtime of four hours and 17 minutes, compared with three hours 23 minutes in the previous quarter.

Bob Dowson, director of NCC Group’s website performance division said: “It’s a worrying trajectory and one that retailers need to address quickly. If a website is slow to load, consumers will simply go elsewhere, while any downtime will lead to a direct loss of sales.

“The potential within the online retail space is massive. In 2012 the value of online retail to the UK was £78 billion, and that’s only going to grow. Retailers that prioritise their website performance will put themselves in a great position to fulfil their potential in the market.”

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