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Not-so-fast fashion: slow websites costing leading fashion brands £1bn a year

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Eight of the UK’s top 10 most popular online fashion retailers have non-optimised websites that are slow to load – costing them potentially billions of pounds a year in lost revenue.

A study by digital agency Clicky Media reveals that Missguided could earn almost £166m extra on top of current revenue by reducing site speed by 0.8 seconds, while Nasty Gal could earn a possible £247m more with the same time reduction. 

I Saw it First could make increases of just under £297m by halving its slow 4-second load time. Even more drastically, MatchesFashion is missing out on a potential £341m in 2021 because its website has double the recommended 2-second load time. 

Interestingly, boohoo – which logged record sales for the year to February 2021 – doesn’t feature in the list, showing that not only is it dominating online fast fashion, but that it has got its site sorted.

Some of the most common areas Clicky found to target improvements were in unnecessary CSS data, image rendering and text loading. 

Sam Gadsby, Clicky Media’s Managing Director, says of the findings: “With the acceleration of online shopping, over the last year in particular, expediting the shift from physical stores to ecommerce buying by five or more years, our team uncovered notable opportunities for online brands to make more from their digital presence. Our results show unoptimised sites are potentially leading to a significant level of lost revenue.”

He continues: “User experience is more important than ever before, and the team identified areas where businesses could be making millions of pounds more this year. Our research highlights the importance of constantly improving UX in order to attract, convert and retain customers. Site speed represents just one key element, but a vitally important one, as we know most customers have higher expectations and demand more from websites than ever before. Our study looked into a few top performing brands, but from our experience site speed is a universal improvement area that most brands would benefit from enhancing.”

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