New Radware Research Reveals Top Retailers Sites Too Slow, Struggle to Meet Customer Needs

New Radware Research Reveals Top Retailers Sites Too Slow, Struggle to Meet
Customer Needs

Quarterly Web Performance Research Study Uncovers Inconsistent Adoption of
Core Best Practices by Site Owners, Critically Affecting Website Performance
and Customer Experience

MAHWAH, N.J., Oct. 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Radware^®(Nasdaq:RDWR), a
leading provider of application delivery and application security solutions
for virtual and cloud data centers, today released a new study titled "State
of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance, Fall 2013." Now in its
sixth edition, the study reveals that websites for the top 500 U.S. retailers
are still too slow and continue to get slower – pages have slowed down 14%
since Summer 2013, and are 16% slower than Fall 2012. Additionally, the report
uncovers inconsistent adoption of core best practices by site owners,
critically affecting website performance and customer experience.

Radware's quarterly "State of the Union" report measures and tracks the
performance and page composition of the top 500 U.S. retail websites (as
ranked by analytics firm Alexa.com) over a two-day period with the purpose of
gaining ongoing visibility into the real-world performance of leading
Ecommerce sites. The study also aims to learn how these sites perform for
visitors using the Internet under normal browsing conditions and provides
strategies and best practices to enable site owners to enhance site
performance.

Key findings from the "State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web
Performance, Fall 2013" include:

  1. The trend toward bigger, slower pages continues. The median page took
  8.56 seconds to load for first-time visitors, representing a 14% slowdown
  over the median of 7.48 seconds recorded three months ago (Summer 2013).

  2. The median page takes 5.3 seconds to become interactive. Sites have
  experienced a slowdown of 8% since Summer 2013, when the median time to
  interact (TTI) was 4.9 seconds. Ideally, pages should be interactive in 3
  seconds or less.

  3. Three common design practices are failing users. Most sites made at least
  one of three critical mistakes in the design and presentation of their
  feature content: loading feature banners last; placing a call-to-action at
  the bottom of feature banners; and/or not implementing a call-to-action at
  all.

  4. The adoption of performance best practices is inconsistent, even among
  leading sites. Among the top 100 sites, adoption of some best practices is
  nearing the saturation point, whereas others remain neglected.

  5. Browser vendors are not keeping pace with page demands. Across all three
  major browsers, performance is trending downward as browser vendors struggle
  to keep pace with the demands of today's large, complex, dynamic web pages.

TTI is the point at which a page displays its primary interactive content
(e.g., feature banners with functional call-to-action buttons). Sites have
experienced a slowdown of 8% since Summer 2013, only 18% of the top 100 sites
had a TTI of 3 seconds or less, while 26% of sites took eight or more seconds
to become interactive.

"In just the last few years, web page speed has migrated from the fringe to
center stage, emerging as not just a technology trend, but a hot-button
business issue," said Tammy Everts, web performance evangelist, Radware.
"Numerous studies have found an irrefutable connection between load times and
key performance indicators, such as conversion rates and revenue increases.
Site owners need to understand that optimizing performance is much more
nuanced than just pushing out faster pages to customers: it's about
understanding what users want from every page of your site, then fine-tuning
those pages to ensure that critical content loads first instead of last. A
site owner who neglects core performance best practices is missing out on
significant opportunities to make relatively easy performance gains."

For recommendations that site owners can implement to fix performance pains,
and/or to access the complete version of "State of the Union: Ecommerce Page
Speed & Web Performance, Fall 2013," visit:
http://www.radware.com/stateoftheunion-fall2013.

An infographic on the findings of page speed and web performance can be
accessed here:
http://www.slideshare.net/Radware/radware-web-performanceecommerceinfographic

Methodology: "State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance, Fall
2013"

Website load tests were conducted between August 29-30, 2013, using Internet
Explorer 10, Firefox 22 and Chrome 29 on a DSL connection. The tests in this
study were performed using WebPagetest.org, an open source project primarily
developed by Google, which simulates page load times from a real user's
perspective. Radware tested the home page nine times of every site listed in
the Alexa Retail 500.

In addition to measuring a core set of metrics – load time, resource requests,
page size, implementation of core performance best practices – the study also
measured each site's median time to interact (TTI). Time to interact is
considered to be a more meaningful indicator of a page's ability to deliver a
satisfactory user experience to a visitor, providing additional insight into
real-user performance. To identify the TTI for each page, Radware generated
timed filmstrip views of the page load for the median page for each site in
the Alexa Retail 100.

About Radware

Radware (Nasdaq:RDWR), is a global leader of application delivery and
application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers. Its
award-winning solutions portfolio delivers full resilience for
business-critical applications, maximum IT efficiency, and complete business
agility.Radware's solutions empower more than 10,000 enterprise and carrier
customers worldwide to adapt to market challenges quickly, maintain business
continuity and achieve maximum productivity while keeping costs down. For
more information, please visit www.radware.com.

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         briang@radware.com

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