Keynote Web Performance Report: Holiday Shopping Sites, Report Number Three
Calif., ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â December 17, 2003 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Keynote Systems (Nasdaq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œKEYNÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â), The Internet
Performance AuthorityÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â®, reported today that major online shopping sites continue
to under-perform and display inconsistent response times and success rates for
holiday shoppers trying to complete transactions. This week Keynote analysts
observed an ongoing cyclical pattern of performance degradation at the beginning
of the workday with performance improving as the day wears on.
The overall Index ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“success rateÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ for the week, however, improved from last
weekÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s six week low, coming in at 95.98 percent availability, but transactions
on the worst performing site still failed almost 14 out of every 100 times the
transaction was attempted. A transaction is defined as a Web siteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ability to
allow a consumer to click through a number of pages and successfully make a
Results from the Atlas Institute’s third-annual holiday shopping study, released
in November, reveal that the online holiday shopping season peaks approximately
10-to-14 days before Christmas. According to Young-Bean Song, director of the
Atlas Institute, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œthere is no better time than the holiday season to take
advantage of the unique strengths of online marketing.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â If the Atlas study
proves true, increased volume over the next week could create an even tougher
environment ahead if retailers have not tested and optimized their Web sites for
a large capacity of shoppers.
Online consumers spent $8.5 billion in November holiday shopping, up a whopping
55 percent from the year-ago period, according to a study released last week by
Goldman Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive and Nielsen//NetRatings. Apparel,
accounted for $1.6 billion in purchases, up 33 percent from November 2002, toys
and video games, both hardware and software, for $875 million up 32 percent
books for at $761 million, up 61 percent, videos and DVDs for $758 million, up
133 percent, and music at $402 million rose 57 percent year-over-year
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTaking advantage of the strengths of online marketing, however, can result in
disaster if your Web site is not prepared to handle the volume a marketing
campaign engenders. The figures released by Goldman Sachs demonstrate
inescapably that the Internet has become part of the fabric of our lives and as
much attention must be paid to the online customer experience as is paid to the
in store customer,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Roopak Patel, senior analyst in KeynoteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Public
Services group. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhether a customer buys online or just does research, the
multi-page transaction must work in order to assure customer loyalty and revenue
During the week of December 8 the Index showed that consumers could complete a
transaction 95.98 percent of the time. Response time came in at 15.03 seconds
above the last two weeks, but still slower by several seconds than the weeks of
October 27 through November 17.
As a means of comparison, the average response time for those four weeks
previous ranged from 16.94 seconds to 17.67 seconds.
The Keynote E-Commerce Transaction Index is the retail industryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s first and only
Web transaction performance benchmark index that measures the response time and
success rate for executing a typical multi-step online retail transaction on 13
leading retail Web sites. The Index provides an excellent overall barometer for
how successful leading online shopping sites are at providing customers an
optimal quality of experience each and every time a customer goes to their Web
Index results for the top performers and the worst average for the week can be
Complete results of the Index can be found on E-Commerce Times at
Keynote will be reporting on online shopping performance through Christmas. If
you would like to receive KeynoteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s press releases on this topic, please send an
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How the Index Works
The Keynote Consumer E-commerce Transaction Index, introduced in May, is
composed of the most active e-commerce sites on the Web, as determined by
industry experts and analyst reports, and is the only industry benchmark that
compares and contrasts the performance of a similar six-step Web transaction by
a consumer purchasing a similar item on each site.
The 13 companies that make up the index include: Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Best Buy
(NYSE: BBY), Costco (Nasdaq: COST), E-Bay (Nasdaq: EBAY), Eddie Bauer (OTC:
SPGLA), JCPenney NYSE: JCP), LL Bean , Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN), Office Depot
(NYSE: ODP), Office Max (NYSE: OMX), Sears (NYSE: S), Target (NYSE: TGT) and
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT). These companies receive a significant majority of their
revenue from online sales and a high volume of Web site visitors flock to them
every day to complete transactions similar to the ones being measured. As such
they are the de facto benchmark against which retailers doing business on the
Web should measure themselves.
The data used to create the index is taken from actual online retail
transactions Keynote performs with remotely based ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œmeasurement computers.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Transactions are initiated and measured from 10 U.S. cities (Boston, San
Francisco, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York, Chicago,
Philadelphia, Houston and Dallas) on an hourly basis Monday to Sunday from 5:00
AM to 9:00 PM Pacific time.
To build and maintain its growing line of Web performance indices, Keynote uses
its unparalleled global infrastructure of over 1,500 strategically and
statistically located measurement, testing and diagnostic computers representing
Internet performance from 50 metropolitan areas worldwide.
Information about all Keynote performance indices can be found at
Founded in 1995, Keynote Systems, Inc., (Nasdaq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œKEYNÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â), The Internet
Performance AuthorityÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â®, is the worldwide leader in Web performance measurement
and management services that improve the quality of e-business. KeynoteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s
services enable corporate enterprises to monitor, benchmark, test, diagnose and
optimize their e-business systems both inside and outside the firewall.
Approximately 2,200 corporate IT departments and 17,000 individual subscribers
rely on the company’s easy-to-use and cost-effective services to increase
revenues and reduce downtime costs, without requiring additional complex and
costly software implementations.
Keynote Systems, Inc. is headquartered in San Mateo, California and can be
reached at www.keynote.com
or by phone in the U.S. at 650-403-2400.
Keynote, The Internet Performance Authority and Perspective are registered
trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their
respective owners. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â© 2003 Keynote Systems, Inc.