Catchpoint Systems, a digital performance analytics company, has released its Ecommerce Web Performance Benchmark report for the first quarter of 2016, ranking desktop websites based on their performance (speed or load time).
The top three webpage load time performers were Target (1.03 seconds), Apple (1.38 seconds) and Walgreens (1.45 seconds). The rest of the top 10 included Systemax (1.66 seconds), Best Buy (1.72 seconds), Staples (1.73 seconds), Costco (1.73 seconds), The Home Depot (1.81 seconds), Amway (1.83 seconds), and Dell (1.91 seconds).
There continues to be a direct correlation between lighter page weight and faster webpage load times, ays Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and Co-founder, Catchpoint Systems. The median webpage load time for pages with average size up to 2MB was 2.25 seconds; between 2 to 4MB, 3.39 seconds; and more than 4MB, 3.78 seconds. All of the top 10 fastest websites had page weights under 2MB, with the exception of one (Costco).
Measurements for this benchmark were taken from 27 Catchpoint backbone monitoring nodes located across the United States, at intervals of two minutes, with results collated into an average webpage load time for each ecommerce site. Webpage load time is defined as the time it takes for enough page elements to load for an end user to begin interacting with a page.
Besides keeping page weights low, the top performers in this benchmark relied on very few external third-party services; Apple featured only one. These services, such as social media plug-ins, video and analytics, are intended to enrich the user experience, but can have the unintended consequence of increasing performance risk, as a single slow or stalled service can degrade the performance for an entire site.
An ironic note: when I tried loading the Catchpoint Systems website (www.catchpoint.com), it repeatedly froze on me.