November 21, 2005, 12:00 AM

Specialty retailers offer the fastest average broadband time

Specialty retailers provide customers with high broadband connectivity the fastest access to e-commerce sites in about 4.8 seconds, according to a new weekly performance index from Gomez Inc.

Specialty retailers provide customers with high broadband connections the fastest access to e-commerce sites, according to a new weekly performance index from Gomez Inc.

The index, which includes the web’s 50 largest retailers as ranked by annual sales in The Top 400 Guide, notes that customers with a high broadband connection can visit a specialty retailer’s site in about 4.8 seconds, compared to apparel and accessories (4.9 seconds), consumer products (5 seconds), mass merchants (6 seconds) and computers/electronics (6.5 seconds.

When their site is accessed by a low broadband connection, apparel retailers provide the fastest average access at 10.4 seconds, Gomez says. The next fastest web retailing category is consumer products (10.5 seconds), followed by specialty retailers (10.8 seconds), mass merchants (13.4 seconds) and computers/electronics (14.8 seconds).

While more web retailers are gearing up for the day when most customers will visit a site using broadband, dial-up connection speed also remains a key indicator of Internet performance. The Gomez index found that dial-up shoppers could connect to an apparel retail site in just about 41.6 seconds, followed by specialty retailers, (43.8 seconds) consumer products (44.3 seconds), mass merchants (52.2 seconds) and computer/electronics (56.7 seconds).

Web site performance, specifically how often a retailing site remains online despite frequent heavy traffic, also remains a key benchmark of how successful retailers are in meeting customer expectations. With a high broadband connection, shoppers could on average connect to a Top 50 retail site 98.1% of the time, compared with 98.7% for low broadband and 93.9% for dial-up.

 

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