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
78,713 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

Motorola Moto G2 release date, price and specs: Best budget smartphone gets upgrades

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program: Get OS X Yosemite on your Mac before public release

IDG UK Sites

Why the BBC iPlayer outage was caused by a DDoS attack: Topsy and Tim isn't *that* popular

IDG UK Sites

How to make an 'Apple iWatch' using an iPod nano and a 3D printer