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Top500 Assessment: How the Top500 use website tags

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Consumer electronics websites, on average, load over twice the number of third-party tags per visit in comparison to websites in other sectors, according to a UK Top500 assessment, researched in collaboration with Evidon . The assessment details the number of times third-party tags loaded during visits to the websites of the UK’s Top500 retailers, initially covering September 2016. At the other end of the spectrum, the data reveals that the food and wine, footwear and accessories sectors tend to have the lowest tag to page load ratios.

Table 1: Sectors with the Lowest Tag to Page Load Ratios – September 2016

1 Food and Wine
2 Footwear
3 Accessories
4 Travel and Other Services
5 Children’s Goods
The lowest number of third-party tags used by the average retailer in the sector

Tags can improve user experience by allowing websites to tailor their online services, included targeted marketing. However, excessive tags can negatively affect page load times, with the resultant increases in latency compromising user experience. For this reason, we’ve included a ‘top table’ (below), of the Top500 retailers using the fewest tags. This one factor alone does not make a website ‘better’ but it’s a factor we’re highlighting as part of this assessment.

Lush and Heal’s were the Top500 retailers with the fewest unique tags operating on their websites for the same period. The Heal’s, Lush, and End websites also had the lowest ratio of third-party tags to page loads of all UK Top500 websites.

Table 2: Retailers with the Lowest Number of Unique Tag Loads on their Websites – September 2016

Retailer Sector
1 Lush Health & Cosmetics
2 Heal’s Home, Garden & DIY
3 John Smith’s Stationery, Books & Craft
4 Hallmark Stationery, Books & Craft
5 END. General Fashion
6 Brandon Hire Home, Garden & DIY

About the analysis

The tag assessment research into the UK Top500 reveals retailers’ use of third-party tags on their websites – software that can provide a better service but can have a negative impact on load times and related performance. Top500 knowledge partner Evidon collaborated with InternetRetailing by drawing on anonymous data from its user base. The assessment surveys, for a given month, both the total number of tags loaded during a typical webpage visit and the number of unique tags loaded by the website.

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