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Black and Blue: Top100 retailers face peak challenges

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Multichannel retailers were disappointed with high street turn out but no-one could have been disappointed with the ecommerce uptick we witnessed yesterday. By now you’ve heard how big it was: Worldpay reported that shoppers spent twice as much before midday as they did in the same period last year and numerous retailers suffered sluggish websites or put in place queueing systems to cope with demand.

Every Top100 website was tested once an hour and this chart is cumulative of the tests when websites crossed the ‘unresponsive’ threshold over the 36-hour period.[/caption]

More to the story than speed

Some retailers who’ve claimed successful peak trading results have appeared in the lower quartile of our results. This illustrates that customers may be willing to wait for slow pages if the bargains are both relevant and significant. The question we will research is whether there is a correlation between increased site responsiveness and incremental revenue.

You may also be interested in Top100 websites: load times and downtime on Black Friday – click here

*Edit at 11.30am on Monday 30 November, 2015: this article previously stated that websites were ‘down’. This ambiguous terminology was queried by some readers and so ‘unresponsiveness’ is referred to and briefly defined in the updated version. All tests were conducted from a London-based server using a Chrome desktop browser. Our testing via does not take into account local caching or ISP caching, nor the customer’s willingness to wait. For more information on what constitutes a timed-out ‘unresponsive’ test, please see GTmetrix’ FAQ.

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