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This year's retail website with the best user-response time was J. C. Penney, followed by Apple, said Compuware in a Thursday announcement. Symantec, supplier of anti-virus software, was third; Dell, fourth; and Abercrombie and Fitch, fifth.
The top five last year were Dell, fashion and electronics site QVC, home furnishings supplier Williams Sonoma, Sears, and Office Depot. Each year, the Gomez performance tracking service pings 50 top retailers' sites and measures response times on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping days of the year.
Other retailers in this year's top 10 included: Saks Fifth Avenue, sixth; Macy's, seventh; Best Buy, eighth; L.L.Bean, ninth; and Overstock, tenth.
[Want to better understand how performance monitoring with "synthetic" transactions works? See How Fast Is Your Mobile App? Gomez Knows]
In general, faster page download times and transaction execution times lead to fewer frustrated shoppers and more sales. "These retailers invested in the people, technology, and best practices" to deliver top performance, said John Van Siclen, general manager of Compware's Application Performance Management business unit, in the announcement of its tracking results.
Van Siclen said the average page download still took slightly over 10 seconds. Compuware's Gomez Performance Index page says shoppers prefer a two-second download, and will tolerate up to eight seconds without complaint, but become frustrated at more than eight seconds.
The fast response and fast transaction execution performers, said Van Siclen, "made the most of this year's increased traffic." IBM said Tuesday that its Coremetrics unit and Smarter Commerce Initiative tracked the amount of online spending associated with Cyber Monday to come up with the 19% increase figure.
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