Amazon.com Inc. is delivering a fast mobile and desktop site for Prime Day today.
On average, Amazon’s desktop home page loaded in 2.52 seconds and its mobile site home page loaded in 1.18 seconds between midnight and 11:59 p.m. Eastern time today, according to digital performance analytics company Catchpoint Systems Inc. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide.
Catchpoint takes measurements from 27 backbone monitoring nodes across the U.S. to measure webpage load time. It runs a series of tests during the time period and averages them. Catchpoint defines webpage load time as the time it takes for enough page elements to load for a consumer to begin interacting with a page such as searching, tapping or scrolling. From a consumer point of view, this is the time it takes for the progress bar or spinning wheel to stop.
Amazon’s desktop and mobile load times today are “strong,” says a Catchpoint spokesman.
For perspective, the 2.52-second desktop load time is nearly the same as the median response time that Amazon’s home page had for the week ending July 10, according to Catchpoint. However, the 1.18-second mobile site is loading 4% faster compared to the week ending July 10.
Catchpoint also notes that Amazon’s desktop home page size increased by roughly 50% today to promote its Prime Day sales. Despite the increased size, the site has not had any pronounced performance impact because of increased size, which is a credit to Amazon, Catchpoint says.
Besides the home page, the Prime Day landing page loaded in 2.30 seconds on desktops between this time period.
“Web performance and the overall end-user experience have become so critical to e-commerce success today that we call it the fifth P in marketing,” says Mehdi Daoudi, Catchpoint Systems CEO. “Performance is every bit as critical as product, price, place and promotion in the battle for consumer loyalty.”
Some Prime Day shoppers, however, have reported performance issues. For example, consumers reported that the Amazon Smile home page wasn’t loading. Smile.Amazon.com is the retailer’s shopping site that donates 0.5% of a purchase to any registered charity the consumer chooses.
Shoppers also reported issues when trying to add items to their cart. Amazon responded via its Twitter account with the statement, “Some customers are reporting difficulty with checkout. We’re working to resolve this issue quickly.”
Likewise, Catchpoint also detected a problem with the add-to-cart process for certain products around 9 a.m. Eastern time, as well as a gradual slow down on the payment page. These problems seem to be resolved, Daoudi says.
During Amazon’s Prime Day last year, the e-retailer performed well, but not without some hitches, Catchpoint says. Between 9:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Eastern, Amazon’s site load time doubled. The retailer resolved its problems and the response time fell back to less than three seconds, according to Catchpoint.
Amazon’s web performance is also beating out Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (No. 4), which is running a competing sales day. On average, Walmart.com’s desktop home page loaded in 3.12 seconds and its mobile site loaded in 3.26 seconds, during the same day-long period Catchpoint monitored Amazon.com. The desktop performance is 19% faster than Walmart.com’s median load time for the week ending July 10, and the Prime Day mobile site performance is 7% slower than the week before, Catchpoint says.
“When retail giants like Amazon and Wal-Mart compete on a scale like this, the difference between huge wins and losses can come down to a few milliseconds,” Daoudi says.
Amazon Prime Day is 24-hour sales event that started at 12:01 a.m. Pacific on today. It features discounts of at least 20% and more than 100,000 deals for customers who belong to Prime, Amazon’s loyalty program that includes expedited shipping on millions of eligible products, as well as streaming video and music, for a $99 annual fee.
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