Eddie Bauer, Victoria’s Secret and J. Crew lead apparel site performance index

They show the fastest response times among 13 web retailers.

Paul Demery

For the time it takes a retail web site to render pages, allow a shopper to find a product and put it into, a shopping cart, and then proceed to the checkout page, Eddie Bauer showed the quickest “total response time” of 6.70 seconds for the week ended Sept. 29, according to the most recent performance index for online apparel retailers released by Keynote Systems Inc.

The index, which measures the web site performance of 13 apparel retailers, listed Victoria’s Secret as second with a total response time of 7.20 seconds, followed by J. Crew at 7.99 seconds, Nordstrom at 8.12 seconds and Neiman Marcus at 11.99 seconds.

The “total response time” does not include the shopper logging into her account or completing the checkout.

The average total response time for the 13 retailers in the index was 14.09 seconds. The slowest time was recorded by Kohl’s Corp., at 19.23 seconds.

The index also reports other site performance metrics to highlight more comprehensive page-loading characteristics. Under “total user experience time,” for example, which measures the complete time it takes to let shoppers interact with each page feature from log-on to carting a product and proceeding to checkout, Victoria’s Secret led with a time of 8.98 seconds, followed by Eddie Bauer at 11.35 seconds, J. Crew 11.68 seconds, Neiman Marcus 15.89 seconds, and Nordstrom 17.16 seconds. The average for all 13 retailers in the index was 18.71 seconds. The slowest total user experience time was recorded by Abercrombie & Fitch, at 28.06 seconds.

Keynote bases the apparel retail index on a select group of major retailers, with performance measurements compiled with automated software that drives automated shopping sessions from 10 major metropolitan areas: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

The full list of index apparel retailers follows with their total response times and total user experience times in seconds:

● Eddie Bauer, 6.70, 11.35

● Victoria’s Secret, 7.20, 8.98

● J. Crew, 7.99, 11.68

● Nordstrom, 8.12, 11.68

● Neiman Marcus, 11.99, 15.89

● HSN, 13.25, 22.73

● J.C. Penney, 14.09, 17.66

● Foot Locker, 14.39, 18.71

● Saks Fifth Avenue, 16.48, 21.18

● Macy’s, 16.60, 24.18

● Sears, 16.68, 26.10

● Abercrombie & Fitch, 16.90, 28.06

● Kohl’s, 19.23, 27.45.

Using the same testing system, Keynote also produces several other retail industry indices, including merchants grouped within the categories of consumer electronics, books/music/video and mobile commerce.