UK retailers guilty of e-commerce complacency, Visualsoft study
The UK’s top 250 retailers, including Topshop and Debenhams, are risking seasonal sales through failure to improve their website load speeds over the past 12 months, according to research by Visualsoft.
Its study found that 62% of retail websites rated as ‘poor’ – taking longer than nine seconds to load on 3G – in comparison to 54% in 2017. A further 16% took 15 seconds or longer to load. This figure has worsened by 4% vs. the same time last year. Google estimates that these e-retailers will be losing a minimum of 32% of all potential visitors through load time alone.
Only 1% of the retailers tested were marked ‘excellent’ - taking under four seconds to load and expected to experience low levels of potential visitor loss. This is also a worse performance than 2017, when 2% of retailers rated as excellent.
“The rapid growth of e-commerce may lure some brands into a false sense of security, but nobody is immune to the troubles of the retail sector. Optimising website performance is of business-critical importance,” says Dean Benson, Visualsoft’s CEO.
“However, these figures underline a general picture of complacency within the biggest names in the sector. This provides a huge opportunity for smaller, hungrier businesses in the market to challenge the big brands – many of whom are clearly unable (or unwilling) to focus on getting the basics right - and are losing out on sales as a result.”