Tesco and Game had fastest loading home pages over Black Friday weekend, Catchpoint Systems reveals


Catchpoint Systems monitored the web performance of 20 of some of the UK’s major e-commerce sites during Black Fridayweekend and Cyber Monday. Top UK brands including Tesco, John Lewis, Debenhams and Amazon UK, have been analysed showing some interesting results. The majority of shopping during the past promotional weekend took place online – so which of these sites has performed up to standard, providing customers with smooth and satisfying shopping experiences? The analysis is based on monitoring the performance of the homepages of these retailers.

According to Catchpoint, the majority of homepages have performed well with only a few retailers’ homepages having minor outages. By comparison, some major US retailers like Macys did suffer longer outages. The fastest loading pages have been those of Tesco and Game over the whole reporting period. The other top five sites for fastest loading homepage are Sainsbury’s, Amazon UK and Asos. The homepages that performed slower than other retailers were those for Debenhams, Maplin and Currys PC World.

At specific periods, when consumer traffic was expected to be intense, some homepages saw an increase in webpage response times. For example, over the lunchtime on Black Friday itself, Debenhams and House of Fraser took many more seconds to load than the home pages of Game and Tesco, which loaded within seconds. Upon investigation, this was attributed to poorly performing third Party elements. All 20 sites maintained 100% availability during Friday lunch time period from 12 noon to 2pm except for The Body Shop, which had its homepage going down for more than 10 minutes.

Throughout the rest of the weekend, 17 out of the 20 websites were performing smoothly. One exception was Argos, which went down for about 15 minutes between 11pm and 11:46pm on Sunday night. The Body Shop and House of Fraser also had significant dips in performance that meant longer wait times for online consumers getting onto the sites.

Robert Castley, senior performance engineer at Catchpoint, said: “Black Friday has been a good test of UK ecommerce sites and it’s a credit to everyone that sites maintained a high availability and no site reported a major outage. Steps to slim down home pages and review and beef up Internet infrastructure will have helped massively. It’s going to be interesting to see if online retailers can maintain this standard for the rest of the online shopping season especially for the final rush for making online purchases with enough time for home delivery or click and collect.”

Catchpoint is a leading performance analytics and monitoring company used by retailers and other brands globally. Apart from monitoring website performance on major UK retailers during the promotional Black Friday weekend, they also recently published a benchmark report which results set the scene for how well the top UK e-commerce sites will be able to take the strain of Digital Christmas 2016 and ensure customers can easily browse and buy from their online shops.