Customer Behaviour

One week on from Cyber Monday, Apica – the leading provider of comprehensive software testing and monitoring solutions – has unveiled the 2017 Apica Web Performance Index (WPI).

The annual index evaluates and ranks the web performance of some of the 200 top e-commerce websites in the US and Europe, during one of the busiest retail periods on the calendar. 2017 saw one million dollars per minute being spent at the peak of Black Friday sales, indicating that regular website and application testing, especially at peak times, has never been more important.

Based on Cyber Monday performance, using the specific technical value ‘DOM Complete’ (the time it takes for a page to fully load and respond to users), the Apica WPI is one indicator of how the e-commerce industry is performing as a whole.

This year, 184/200 companies were seen as ‘healthy’ based on Apica’s measurements – that is, fully loading within 10 seconds. This produced a 2017 Apica WPI score of 92%. Based on Apica’s index, a score of 75% or more typically indicates a healthy market.

Apica Web Performance Index Highlights 2017

         WPI 2017 Score: 92/100

         Overall Cyber Monday 2017 WPI winner: Grainger (0.003 second load time).

         42% of US companies improved their load time on Black Friday compared to a normal day.

         36% of US companies improved load time on Cyber Monday compared to a normal day.

         Approximately 1 in 10 UK companies were not able to load their site within 10 seconds.

         Amazon, Apple and Clarks were all amongst the performance leaders in the UK.

Winners and losers

Well-known retail brands led the way in terms of Apica’s web performance index. In the US, three of the top five Cyber Monday performers were Grainger (load time of 0.003 seconds), EB Games (0.205 s) and Hayneedle (1.36 s). In the UK, Amazon, Apple and Clarks all featured in the top five on the leaderboard, each displaying median load times of less than two seconds.

75% of UK e-retailers maintained or improved their performance on Black Friday 2017, compared to a sampled random day. This was a notably higher figure than in the US market at 48%. However, the US displayed an excellent ‘top 10’ performers, with an average load time of just 1.8 seconds.

At the other end of the spectrum, the worst performing 10% of US retailers averaged 9.9 seconds to fully load, compared to 9.45 seconds for the same 10% in the UK.

Overall, 96% of US ecommerce platforms loaded their sites within 10 seconds on Black Friday, whereas 90% of UK sites managed to avoid this pitfall. No US site experienced an outage on Black Friday, whereas 5% of those monitored in the UK suffered downtime ranging from 2 minutes to 2 hours.

Carmen Carey, CEO of Apica, said: “This year’s Index score of 92/100 demonstrates that almost all organisations are developing and acting on awareness of the importance of web performance, especially at peak times, in driving business value.”

Website performance is a primary factor in completing transactions on e-commerce sites, with multiple reports indicating just a few minutes of downtime result in significant lost profits.

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