Keynote’s data found that UK fashion websites are not loading correctly or fast enough to ensure customer satisfaction.
The data, which was from the week between November 15 and November 21, showed that visitors to the websites were being left waiting far too long for homepages to load and pages would often load incorrectly. The New Look homepage took on average 5.17 seconds to load and the H&M homepage was only available 94.59% of the time on average.
During this particular week, the websites were on average a quarter of a second slower compared to the previous week. The average load time for the websites was up to 3.45 seconds, which is slightly higher than the recommended two second load time. When analysing the reliability of the websites, the data found that only 11 out of 18 websites loaded correctly more than 99% of the time, compared to 16 out of 18 from the previous week.
Robert Castley, performance management expert at Keynote, commented on the research: "It is worrying to see how poorly the online high street sites are coping as this year’s Christmas shopping season begins. We are repeatedly being told how this year will be the year for online shopping and, as many consumers turn to the web, it appears that they will be met by slowly loading, badly performing webpages. Certainly not the way to secure lucrative online custom."
H&M’s website achieved the fastest load time at 0.96 seconds, however its availability rate was the lowest of the table at 94.5%. Certain websites could be at risk of losing customers this week due to their online performance including All Saints, which added 1.39 seconds to its average homepage load time and Uniqlo, which added 1.41 seconds. Websites of fashion brands Next, Zara, Gap and Urban Outfitters all had 100% availability, which makes their webpage a more reliable option for consumers.
"With damning reports of the dying high street and the current poor performance of online stores, retailers are putting their survival on the line this Christmas. Not only will they fail to attract new online shoppers with poorly performing sites, but they risk losing those that first became loyal at their brick-and-mortar stores," concluded Castley.