Website Performance Trends for Target and J.Crew Teach Valuable Lessons
Unfortunately our friends at J.Crew haven't been as good of an example in optimum website performance. The retailer ranked No. 41 in response time at 5.2669 seconds, down from No. 27 (3.8852 seconds) in early February. That type of response time translates into potential buyers bailing on the site before its pages even load. The news wasn't much better for J.Crew's site availability, ranking No. 47 at 98.91 percent, down from No. 14 (99.92 percent) last month.
It's possible J.Crew is still feeling the stress of increased traffic from January's Inauguration Day, when First Lady Michele Obama wore the brand's rhinestone belt and daughter Malia donned its pink coat. But J.Crew, and all online retailers for that matter, should be prepared for such website surges at any time. The company has been down this road before, as the fashion trend-setting First Family has been known to sport J.Crew since taking the spotlight in 2009. It's unfortunate the brand doesn't seem to be learning from experience and, in turn, is losing out on revenue.
Sudden traffic surges can sometimes be difficult to predict, but if you should be so lucky, be prepared to handle the capacity and reap the rewards. Here's how:
- Have a crash plan. The decision to save money now and not have a plan should your website crash could cost you lots more in the long run.
- Continuously monitor the customer experience. Test your site's load time during particularly busy times to see how it's handling the traffic.
- Review third-party content. Do you use a content delivery network (CDN) provider to manage large, dynamic content? Make sure you're getting and reviewing performance reports often.
To see a snapshot of our top 50 retailers’ website performance for the week of March 4, click here.