April 14, 2011, 3:46 PM

Ding dong, Avon calling!

Avon.com was No. 1 site for speed and availability in the first quarter, AlertSite says.

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Avon.com was the speediest and most available site among the top 50 U.S. e-retailers during the first quarter, according to web monitoring firm AlertSite. The company monitors the site speed and availability of the top 50 e-retail sites as ranked by Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

AlertSite says Avon.com’s average response time was 0.89 seconds, far faster than that 3.37 second average of the top 50 sites. Avon.com was also available 99.96% of the time. The average availability among the top 50 sites during Q1  was 99.43%. Avon Products Inc. is No. 30 in the Top 500 Guide.

AlertSite compiles its Web Performance Index by monitoring the home pages of the top 50 e-retail sites from 12 U.S. locations every five minutes between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Eastern. It then measures the time it takes to render every object on the page.

Online grocery retailer Peapod.com (No. 47) took second place in both categories, with an average response time of 1.29 seconds and 99.93% availability. Kohls.com (No. 43) came in third for response time at 1.68 seconds and ranked twelfth for availability at 99.70%.

NeimanMarcus.com (No. 41) was the only top 50 retailer to rate among the bottom three performers for both categories. It ranked third from last in both categories. AlertSite says the e-retailer’s average response time was 6.92 seconds and the site was available 96.51% of the time. A Neiman Marcus spokeswoman said software system upgrades caused the e-retail site stability problems for nearly a week in late January and early February. At the time, consumers complained the site was up and running slowly or not available at all. Some also said their orders were cancelled. The e-retailer later sent an e-mail to customers apologizing for the problems and offered them free shipping.

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