February 28, 2007, 12:00 AM

Transaction performance remains steady in January

The benchmarked average for response time for e-retail transactions among the top 25 retailers was 14.18 seconds. J.C. Penney was the top rated merchant with an availability average of 99.83%.

The January Gomez Performance Index for E-Retailers finds little change at the top positions for both response time and availability categories. The benchmarked average for response time for e-retail transactions was 14.18 seconds. As e-retailers rise or fall in their rankings each month, indications of performance impacting events can be seen.

Based on results for a multi-page checkout transaction, J.C. Penney was the top rated merchant with an availability average of 99.83%, followed by Target.com at 99.71% and CircuitCity.com at 99.67%.

The benchmarked average response time for retail transactions saw an increase that pushed response times in January. Most of the retailers maintained their rankings from the previous month, but two retailers seem to have made site changes that have significantly slowed their sites’ response times and impacted the benchmarked average. Most retailers saw a minor increase, which may indicate a heavier shopping load over the month.

By scripting a transaction using proprietary software agents that record tests each day across numerous Internet service providers from multiple co-location facilities throughout the country, Gomez Inc. reports that the web’s top 25 retailers had an availability rating of 98.11% in January.

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