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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 19, 2011

AlertSite: Williams-Sonoma ranks top for online retail experience

No-one's perfect - but Williams-Sonoma's website came close by providing the best overall online experience during the festive period, according to web performance management first AlertSite.

by Helen Leggatt

alertsite logo.gifWith an average response time of 11.58 seconds and an impressive 99.98% availability, the home and kitchen furnishing store took top place in AlertSite's recent rankings.

In second place were both Sam's Club and QVC, both with an equally impressive 99.98% availability and a 13.46 second response time.

While no one online retailer got full marks for availability, AlertSite notes that many have upped their game. In fact, most achieved availability above the average of 97.52%.

Average response time has also improved with the fastest being Forever 21 with a response time of just 7.48 seconds, followed by Fashion Bug (8.23 seconds) and Avon (8.71 seconds). The average response time was 20.83 seconds.

"What this tells us is retailers are learning from past experiences, and putting time and resources into testing the performance of their sites before the holidays arrive," said Ken Gross, AlertSite President and CEO.

"Year-over-year, the occurrence of major website outages or slowdowns during the holidays decreases - evidence of retailers' increased understanding and grasp on their Web performance metrics."

So, exactly how much patience do Internet users, particularly shoppers, have? Very little, according to the results of an Akamai/Forrester study from 2009. It found that online shoppers expect to wait no more than 2 seconds for a page to load. In fact, 40% would wait no more than three seconds before abandoning the site altogether.

Tags: ecommerce, website performance

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