Q1 Fastest Ecommerce Websites Announced

May 25, 2016

Catchpoint Systems has released its Ecommerce Web Performance Benchmark report for Q1 2016, ranking desktop websites based on load time. Catchpoint Systems is a digital performance analytics company based in New York City.
  • The top three webpage load time performers were Target (1.03 seconds), Apple (1.38 seconds) and Walgreens (1.45 seconds). The rest of the top ten included Systemax (1.66 seconds), Best Buy (1.72 seconds), Staples (1.73 seconds), Costco (1.73 seconds), The Home Depot (1.81 seconds), Amway (1.83 seconds), and Dell (1.91 seconds).

  • There continues to be a direct correlation between lighter page weight and faster webpage load times. The median webpage load time for pages with average size up to 2 MB was 2.25 seconds; between 2 to 4 MB, 3.39 seconds; and more than 4 MB, 3.78 seconds. All of the top 10 fastest websites had page weights under 2 MB, with the exception of one (Costco).
Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and Co-founder, Catchpoint Systems stated, "Attention spans are getting shorter, and for ecommerce sites, even a few milliseconds of performance improvement can increase revenues. Fortunately, any website can afford to institute the same practices used by the performance leaders."

Every ecommerce site can learn from what the top performing sites are doing. Catchpoint list these common characteristics:
  • All used CDNs to deliver static content, allowing them to achieve a high degree of performance consistency across geographies.
  • Most relied on very few external third-party services; Apple featured only one. These services, such as social media plug-ins, video and analytics, are intended to enrich the user experience, but can have the unintended consequence of increasing performance risk, as a single slow or stalled service can degrade the performance for an entire site.
  • The top ten sites used techniques to minimize the performance impact of webpage elements that can load slowly. One technique is asynchronous loading, which "skips" over slow-loading elements, allowing the core site information to load first. The result is the user perception of a fast load is preserved.
The full Catchpoint Q1-2016 Ecommerce Web Performance Benchmark Report can be downloaded here.
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