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The top seven e-commerce retailers are…

One e-commerce site is the clear overall leader with customers.

Apparel retailers dominate a new ranking of online speed and customer experience.

“2021 Retailer Website Performance Evaluation: Lost Revenue Opportunities Continue,” a new study released by digital experience optimization platform Yottaa and conducted by Retail Systems Research (RSR), evaluated 80 major retail websites on site speed, performance and shopper experience. With a full range of 0-3 points available across 22 different categories, the following seven retailers took the top three rankings, with several ties (all scores are of 65 possible points):

1. J. Crew – 54 points
2. Lands’ End, Fashion Nova, Ascena Retail Group (Loft), Express – 50 points
3. Ralph Lauren, 1-800-Contacts – 49 points

The study also revealed the top five fastest loading retail sites:

1. 1-800-Contacts
2. Groupon Goods
3. Brownells
4. Forever 21
5. Lands’ End

Yotta/RSR Research analysis reveals that fast site speed is critical to growing online revenue. Improving page load time by just one second results in a 5.7% conversion lift on mobile devices and a 3.3% conversion lift on desktop devices. E-commerce sessions that take less than four seconds capture 59% of conversions, and also produce 58% of bounces.

The study also included a survey of consumers about their e-commerce habits. Interesting findings include:

  •  76% of respondents do not start their shopping journey on a brand’s website, but rather on Google or Amazon.
  •  92% of respondents are frustrated with slow loading retail websites.
  •  87% of respondents will not wait for a slow site to load and they want sites to load in under four seconds.
  •  If a site takes too long to load, 53% of respondents say they leave and buy from a similar brand, and 39% leave and buy from Amazon.
  •  67% of respondents shop via social media.

A recent consumer survey from product information management technology provider Inriver suggests that online speed and customer experience are not the only critical factors in converting e-commerce sales. According to the survey, only 14% of respondents say they likely wouldn’t switch to a competitive product if their first choice was unavailable. The survey also reveals almost seven in 10 (69%) of respondents have decided against buying products generally due to poor descriptions. In addition, 82% of respondents are likely to look at multiple locations for information on products, with 45% of respondents feeling frustrated when faced with bad product information.

“While we are now in our 5th year of conducting this research, we believe this year’s report card is more important than ever,” said Steve Rowen, managing partner, Retail Systems Research (RSR). “Why? Not only is there still an ongoing global pandemic, but many shoppers will not return to in-store shopping, shipping and delivery efforts are in shambles, and the global supply chain has become completely unhinged. As chaotic as the retail landscape has become, there are still vital online shopping elements that brands have total control over, such as their digital shopping journey and site performance. This report highlights the immediate need for brands to make the online shopping journey as effortless as possible from site speed to the ease of product discovery, to the checkout process and payment options – all in a perpetually scalable way.”

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