March 1, 2006, 12:00 AM

Top 50 retail categories vary in January load speed

In January Top 50 apparel retailers offered the quickest high broadband access (5.3 seconds), followed by consumer product sites (5.38 seconds) and specialty retailers (5.47 seconds).

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

In January Top 50 apparel retailers offered the quickest high broadband access (5.3 seconds), followed by consumer product sites (5.38 seconds) and specialty retailers (5.47 seconds). The Gomez measurement of the web’s Top 50 retail sites in January also reveals it took almost a full second more to access a computer and electronics site (6.26 seconds) and a mass merchant site (6.29 seconds).

There is a small but significant difference between retail categories that offer high broadband access to visitors and shoppers, according to Gomez Inc. A single second might not seem like much to a casual web surfer or shopper. But in site performance even a slight delay in loading home and landing pages may mean the difference in a visitor clicking away from one retail site in favor of another, Gomez executives say.

With a dial-up connection, in January the Gomez index found that consumer products retailers provided the fastest access (53.31 seconds), followed by specialty retailers (55.76 seconds), apparel retailers (57.05 seconds), mass merchants (60.24 seconds), and computer and electronics retailers (64.59 seconds).

The retail category with the highest success availability rate in January was specialty retail with a high broadband availability rate of 98.1%. Specialty retailers were followed by apparel retailers (98.2%), consumer products (98.2%), mass merchants (97.9%) and computers/electronics (96.9%).

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