We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Online retailers 'unprepared' for Christmas

Download times hit 11 seconds

Online retailers were not prepared for the first big shopping day of the year, says Site Confidence.

According to the web-monitoring firm, average download speeds of the UK's top etailers slowed to more than 11 seconds on November 29, which is below the desired target of eight seconds.

Some websites even experienced short periods of downtime, with a small number crashing for brief periods. However, there were no prolonged website outages.

Site Confidence has raised concerns that the reduced download speeds could result in a number of lost sales on Monday December 6, which has been dubbed 'Mega Monday' and is expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year.

The firm said web users typically switch to an alternative website after an average of four seconds, meaning the prospect of an 11 second wait could damage sales as websites try to capitalise on the Christmas rush.

"These findings are significant as they show many of our top e-retailers have not prepared their websites sufficiently to deal with the vastly increased web traffic," said Bob Dowson, director at Site Confidence.

"Customers will simply switch to a rival brand providing the same products, if a website is failing to operate quickly or is not responding.

Dowson added it is now too late for retailers to prevent crashes or sluggish download speeds.

"Rigorous load testing should have been carried out to ensure these websites had the capacity to handle increased web traffic and maximise sales."

See also: Brits will spend £7.4 billion online this Christmas

IDG UK Sites

What to expect from Google I/O 2015 | Google I/O live video stream | Google I/O live blog |...

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

Ben & Holly's Game of Thrones titles spoof is delightfully silly

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer