Consistency emerged as the theme of this year`s Gomez Holiday E-Tail Performance Index, a company report says. Most of the benchmarked sites in the index demonstrated predictable average application speed and success rates during the holiday selling season, says Gomez, a site performance monitoring service. The trends carried through to performance as measured from the last mile as well.
The Apparel category led the retail industry throughout the holiday season, Nov. 19 through Jan. 3, in both response times and success rates, Gomez says. Computers and electronics retailers’ web sites operated consistently and outperformed mass merchants’ sites by almost 4 seconds on the benchmarked application. The three categories operated in a narrow band in the Gomez success rate metric, varying on average by 0.6%.
To create benchmarks, Gomez simulates a typical customer shopping experience at each web site. Tests are conducted across high-speed and last-mile connection speeds. Gomez analysts evaluate scripts to ensure an apples-to-apples task comparison across sites.
This year’s Gomez Holiday E-Tail Performance Index was composed of three retail categories, one more than last year. The index benchmarks application performance among leading apparel and mass merchants as well as retailers of computers and consumer electronics.
In the apparel category, Gomez researchers were able to complete transactions at Lands’ End 99.7% of the time; Gap Online, 98.75%; Victoria’s Secret, 96.85%; L.L. Bean, 95.31%; and J. Crew, 92.80%. The time needed for a transaction was 11.58 seconds at Victoria’s Secret; Gap Online, 13.93 seconds; J. Crew, 14.19 seconds; Lands’ End, 21.42; and L.L. Bean, 22.74.
Researchers completed transactions in the computers and electronics category 99.73% of the time at Apple; Best Buy, 98.96%; CDW, 96.65%; Dell, 98.38%; HP, 93.17%; and Circuit City, 92.73%. The time needed for a transaction was 8.84 seconds at Best Buy; Apple, 12.64 seconds; Dell, 17.03 seconds; CDW, 17.68 seconds; Circuit City, 21.35 seconds; and HP, 27.65 seconds.
Among mass merchants, researchers found they could complete a transaction 99.12% of the time at Buy.com; JC Penney, 98.96%; Overstock, 98.65%; Kmart, 98.19%; Sears, 97.45%; Target, 97.06%; Walmart.com, 96.76%; Amazon, 96.17%; and QVC, 92.60%. Time needed for a transaction came to 14.82 seconds at Buy.com; Amazon, 16.63 seconds; Target, 16.76 seconds; Wal-mart, 18.73 seconds; JC Penney, 19.44 seconds; Kmart, 24.71 seconds; Overstock, 25.09 seconds; Sears, 27.10 seconds; and QVC, 27.42 seconds.