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Retailers lag behind demand as e-commerce sites slow down

02 August 2013 - 14:08 by Mike Price

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If you have recently tried to shop online and been disappointed with the speed at which your preferred e-commerce site operates, then you need to look at whether your connection is to blame.

A new report from Radware, reveals that many of the world's top retail sites are actually getting slower, because, with more customers buying online at the same time, they are unable to cope with the increasing levels of traffic.

Five hundred e-commerce sites in the US were tested as part of the study, which revealed that the majority loaded slower in 2013 than they did in 2012.

This includes big names such as Amazon, eBay, Ikea and H&M. On average, it takes 4.9 seconds for an e-commerce page to become interactive and almost eight seconds for loading to complete, which is almost 14 per cent slower than last year.

The report also concluded that changing to a different web browser would not make any difference, as performance is more to do with the retailer's e-commerce infrastructure, than anything at the customer's end.

So if you want to shop online at high speed, you will either have to do so outside of peak evening periods, when everyone is trying to access their favourite site, or suck it up and accept that sluggishness is the new normal.

Part of the problem is that retailers are packing more and more functionality into their web pages, which is all well and good, but does mean that there is more data to load each time.

Experts advise that retailers can lessen delays if they host sites in areas that are geographically closer to end users, which is less of a problem in the UK than it is in the US.