Internet Retailer Top 50 improve website performance in Q2

Each quarter we monitor and rank the performance — defined by percent availability and response times — of Internet Retailer’s Top 50 Retailers. Today, we’re proud to announce the top performing retailers from our Q2 Web Performance Index for Retail.

Based on websites’ uptime and average response times during the three-month period beginning April 1 and ending June 30, the three retailers with the overall best website performance were:

  1. Avon, which delivered 99.99 percent uptime and an average response time of 1.57 seconds.
  2. QVC, with 99.97 percent availability and an average response time of 2.03 seconds.
  3. Cabela’s, with with 99.96 percent uptime and an average response time of 1.88 seconds.

In addition to being the overall best performing site, Avon was also the fastest retail site in Q2. Its average response time of 1.57 seconds was the fastest average response time among the Top 50 Retailers. L.L. Bean, with an average 1.60-second load time, and Peapod, with 1.75-second load times, came in second and third.

AlertSite_InternetRetailerTop50_Q2AvgResponseTime

In terms of availability, one site — Williams-Sonoma — experienced no downtime at all, delivering 100 percent availability (a 33 percent improvement over Q1) to its customers throughout the spring and early summer. Close on its heels were Amazon and Avon, with 99.99 percent availability each.

AlertSite_InternetRetailerTop50_Q2Availability

We also performed a quarter-over-quarter comparison to determine which sites had improved their performance over the first quarter of 2010, and the results were overwhelmingly positive. Nearly all of the companies being monitored (43) improved the response times of their homepages, and 31 of them improved both their overall response times and percent availability.

The most dramatic improvements in response times were:

  • Blockbuster, which improved response times 66.77 percent, from 9.60 seconds to 3.19 seconds.
  • Musician’s Friend, which improved response times 58.81 percent, from 5.73 seconds to 2.36 seconds.
  • Cabela’s, which improved response times 46.59 percent, from 3.52 seconds to 1.88 seconds.

The websites that improved availability over Q1 were:

  • L.L. Bean, which increased uptime 3.86 percent, for a total 99.34 percent availability.
  • The Home Depot, which increased uptime 3.72 percent, for a total 99.19 percent availability.
  • Sony Style, which increased uptime 2.14 percent, for a total 99.92 percent availability.

AlertSite_InternetRetailerTop50_Q1Q2Comparison

We’re encouraged by the improvements so many of these retailers have demonstrated throughout the first half of 2010. The impact a quick, reliable site can have on business is becoming hard to ignore, and downtime is becoming more and more inexcusable.

Retailers have two very important shopping seasons upon them, back-to-school and the holidays — perhaps the ultimate test of a retailers’ Web performance savvy. For the sites on the bottom of these performance rankings, now is the time to act. Review your site’s performance, analyze its components, determine its limitations, and make the necessary adjustments. You don’t want to be caught with your store closed when the holiday crowds come charging.