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Thanksgiving 2021: The Fastest and Slowest Retail Websites

Thanksgiving 2021: The Fastest and Slowest Retail Websites

With safety restrictions and changing consumer sentiment, many retailers closed their doors on Thanksgiving Day in 2020. This trend continued in 2021. Leading national retailers such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, DICK’s Sporting Goods, and many others remained closed on Thanksgiving. What started as a temporary measure to limit crowds in stores, however, is becoming the new standard for Target. The company announced it will keep stores closed on Thanksgiving for good.

Online shopping and contactless delivery, on the other hand, is available around the clock! According to TechCrunch, Thanksgiving sales jumped 21.50% in 2020, coming in at $5.1 billion. This year, according to a CNBC article, online sales on Thanksgiving Day also came in at $5.1 billion. This matches last year’s Thanksgiving Day spending.

With online sales and promotions running on, during, and after (which we’ll explore in upcoming posts) Thanksgiving, site performance is crucial to avoid outages and slow customer experiences that may result in lost revenue.

Methodology

This year we are focusing on two critical web performance indicators – Largest Contenful Paint (LCP), and secondarily, Time to Interactive.

Largest Contentful Paint is a Core Web Vital that measures the time a website takes to show the user the largest content on the screen, complete and ready for interaction. According to Google’s Core Web Vitals Team, an LCP of 2.5 seconds or faster is considered good. An LCP of 4.0 seconds or more is considered bad and needs improvement.

Read more how web vitals impact your online business.

Time to Interactive is the amount of time it takes for the web page to become fully interactive. This is a Google Lighthouse metric and is weighted heavily in Google’s Page Speed Score calculation.

The below report is based on Home Page measurements run by Blue Triangle's Synthetic Monitoring, taken from 5 US locations.

The 20 Fastest US Retail Websites

The 20 Fastest US Retail Websites by Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

TG LCP+20b (1)        

The 20 Slowest US Retail Websites

The 20 Slowest US Retail Websites by Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Most online retailers typically experience an increase in website traffic during Cyber Week. So, while these are the 20 slowest US retail websites by Largest Contentful Paint, they may perform differently at normal levels throughout the year.

TG LCP-20

Key Takeaways

  • More retailers are embracing closing brick-and-mortar stores on the holiday in favor of digital and omnichannel shopping experiences. This may have led to more online traffic to sites such as Costco and BJs, which both demonstrated slow page load times and times to interactive.
  • We did not see an increase in online spending compared to the previous year, one reason being that shoppers have shifted their spending to earlier in the season.
  • With supply chain concerns, online retailers have directed online shoppers to products that are in stock and available – which in many cases sell out quickly online, driving both site traffic and performance slowdown.

Interested in seeing how the top US retailers stack up weekly? Check out our Retail US Benchmarks.

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