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Sluggish sites likely to cost retailers big on Black Friday

16 November 2017 - 12:08 by Graham Miller

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As Black Friday approaches, it is not just consumers who are gearing up to take full advantage of this flash sales event; retailers are also looking for ways to maximise their success on the 24th of November. But a report from Visualsoft reveals that many outlets may be inadequately prepared for the influx of visitors anticipated.

Fifty four per cent of the biggest sites that offer safe shopping online which were assessed in the study were said to suffer from having sub-par page load speeds, meaning that it takes an unacceptably long time for content to appear.

Just under a third were recorded as offering a moderate if not groundbreaking average page load speed of less than eight seconds, although only a small minority were able to outpace all of their rivals and provide truly fast browsing for customers.

Six seconds was the most common overall page load time, while less than two per cent of the sites that were covered in the study achieved a time of three seconds or less.

Analysts believe that sites which fall into the bottom third of the report in terms of load speeds will lose out on sales to their quicker, slicker rivals. But when it comes to safe shopping online, consumers from the UK are especially picky about their experience, with speed playing a major part in determining satisfaction.

With so many different sites set to provide time-limited discounts on Black Friday, there is little margin for error on the retailers’ side of the bargain. Bigger sites will be leveraging extra server capacity to cope, but even this may not be enough to completely avoid hiccups, as has been the case in the past when some sites have crashed or suffered severe slowdown.