Four Retailer Websites That Fell Flat on Black Friday

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Four Retailer Websites That Fell Flat on Black Friday

By Tim Denman - 12/04/2017

Shoppers are impatient. They expect a seamless, fast online experience and will quickly abandon the path to purchase if they experience a hiccup.  

While slight increases in online load times during extremely high traffic periods can be forgiven, significant drops in performance will frustrate shoppers and chase them away. Apica monitored retailers’ web performance during Black Friday and Cyber Monday for its annual index and made some interesting discoveries.

The index found that the 10 best performing U.S. sites averaged 1.3 seconds to load on Black Friday, while the 10 worst performing U.S. sites averaged an extremely poor load time of 37.9 seconds to fully load. In the U.S., the Apica index found that only 34% of companies were able to load sites within a 10-second window on Black Friday, while 66% failed to achieve this goal. In addition, the solution provider reports that four out of 10 potential consumers are not willing to wait more than 10 seconds for a site to load before looking to a competitor.

Below is the result of Apica’s research, including best performers and most improved and degraded year over year.

10 sites with the best average median response time on Black Friday:

  1. Rakuten (0.4 seconds)
  2. Ray-Ban (0.4 seconds)
  3. Rue La La (0.4 seconds)
  4. Nike (0.5 seconds)
  5. Foot Locker (0.8 seconds)
  6. Overstock.com (0.8 seconds)
  7. GameStop Corp. (1.4 seconds)
  8. Apple (2.4 seconds)
  9. Google Shopping Search (2.4 seconds)
  10. L Brands (2.6 seconds)

Most improved retailers in median response time on Black Friday 2016 vs. 2107:

  1. HSN: 2016 speed (88.5 seconds); 2017 speed (15.8 seconds); decrease in load time (82%)
  2. Wal-Mart: 2016 speed (25.5 seconds); 2017 speed (11.3 seconds); decrease in load time (56%)   
  3. Nike: 2016 speed (13.6  seconds); 2017 speed (0.5 seconds); decrease in load time (96%)               
  4. Rakuten: 2016 speed (11.9 seconds); 2017 speed (0.4 seconds); decrease in load time (97%)        
  5. JustFab: 2016 speed (11.1 seconds); 2017 speed (7.7 seconds); decrease in load time (55%)          

Most degraded retailers in median response time from Black Friday 2016 vs. 2107 were:

  1. Groupon: 2016 speed (4.5 seconds); 2017 speed (41.2 seconds); increase in load time (816%)
  2. Macy's: 2016 speed (4.6 seconds); 2017 speed (40.0 seconds); increase in load time (770%)
  3. Williams-Sonoma: 2016 speed (8.0 seconds); 2017 speed (34.0 seconds); increase in load time (325%)     
  4. J. Crew: 2016 speed (4.7 seconds); 2017 speed (29.5 seconds); increase in load time (528%)          

Note: These year-over-year comparison stats are from the 53 U.S. companies Apica had data on for both 2016 and 2017.