Response times show Australia’s top retailers underperforming in the lead up to annual Click Frenzy event

 Website performance data encompassing some of Australia’s largest retail brands shows the industry struggles to prepare for major events and peak shopping periods.

Digital performance monitoring giant, Dynatrace, has been tracking the site response times of approximately half of the 300 retail participants in this year’s Click Frenzy shopping event. Despite consumer expectation demanding sites load in 3 seconds, data shows retailers are serving up an average response time of 8.19 seconds, while the slowest five performers are averaging 17.9 seconds. The good news is that the five fastest retailers are averaging a response time of 3.21 seconds.

Dave Anderson, Dynatrace’s local APAC marketing director, has been tracking the performance data for the last two days and will continue to do so throughout the online event; “We know that response times correlate to revenue for retailers. Research says that speed is the number one consumer expectation of a site, ahead of features and functionality. Retailers need to understand the user experience and how all the elements impact that journey.

“Take US retail giant, Nordstrom, as an example. They recently came to Australia to present on this very topic. They peg their optimal site response time at 2.5 seconds, and a mere 0.5 second slow down will see them experience an 11% reduction in conversion.

“Our data shows retailers aren’t addressing every day consumer expectations and they definitely aren’t adequately preparing for special events and peak traffic periods. If we’re seeing the majority of retailers average a response time of around 8 seconds before Click Frenzy has even started, then there’s a very real concern that their sites will get slower and slower as more and more traffic hits."

Digging deeper on the data, Dynatrace discovered that the slowest sites are the ones with more complex and heavier back-ends. The five fastest sites averaged just 12.6 third party hosts, while the five slowest sites averaged more than 30 third party hosts.

Mr Anderson explains, “Third party hosts such as live chat, cart abandonment software, star ratings and reviews are important marketing tools when used carefully and when you implement them knowing how they’ll impact a site’s performance. But when mismanaged they can create huge time lags for sites.

“During an event like Click Frenzy, retailers need to be focused on conversions and they need user experience data to tell the story of what’s actually happening for customers and therefore make it possible to fine tune it for next time.”

About Dynatrace

Dynatrace is the innovator behind the industry’s premier Digital Performance Platform, making real-time information about digital performance visible and actionable for everyone across business and IT. We help customers of all sizes see their applications and digital channels through the lens of their end users. More than 7,500 organizations use these insights to master complexity, gain operational agility and grow revenue by delivering amazing customer experiences.