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Compuware Cyber Monday Study: JC Penney Top Web Site, Sears Top Mobile Site

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Compuware headquarters in downtown Detroit

Compuware headquarters in downtown Detroit

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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DETROIT — Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq:CPWR) Thursday announced the top retail Web and mobile site performers for Cyber Monday based on the Compuware Performance Index.

Compuware’s analysis also found that, despite months of preparation by retailers, performance satisfaction for the top 50 retailers was down more than 12 percent on Cyber Monday from non-holiday baseline levels.

Compuware conducted an in-depth assessment of Web and mobile site performance data for top U.S. online retailers using a combination of Compuware Performance Index data, which measures performance using Gomez Last Mile and dynaTrace technology to analyze transactions, to determine why some retailers performed well and others did not. The top 10 Web sites out of 50 studied, in order, were JC Penney, Apple, Symantec, Dell, Abercrombie and Fitch Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Best Buy, L.L. Beam and Overstock.

The top three mobile Web sites out of 10 studied were Sears, Amazon and Dell.

“The top Cyber Monday retail Web and mobile performers understand this simple equation: faster sites equal more sales,” said John Van Siclen, general manager of Compuware’s application performance management business unit. “These retailers invested in the people, technology and best practices to deliver top Web and mobile performance on Cyber Monday, which is far more demanding than any other time of the year. Top performers made the most of this year’s increased online and mobile holiday traffic.”

Compuware’s data clearly underscores that many e-commerce sites are still not able to meet scalability demands that big days like Cyber Monday present. Many retailers’ websites failed to meet the performance satisfaction demands of shoppers who expect web pages to download in two seconds or less. Many retailers had web page load times of 10 seconds or more. Seconds of delay can mean millions of dollars in potential revenue lost.

Based on deep forensic analysis of the top 50 eCommerce sites on Cyber Monday using dynaTrace software, the top performers followed best practices in order to maintain optimal performance:
* Light on third-party content;
* Pages not overloaded with hundreds of images or CSS files;
* Lightweight JavaScript; and
* Static images hosted on separate cache-domain served with Cache-Control Headers to speed up page load time for subsequent visits.

In contrast, many of the poorly performing sites had the following issues impacting performance:
* Overloaded pages with too much content, which is cumbersome to serve;
* Heavy use of third-party plugins like ad services, social networks or user tracking;
* Too many single-resource domains (mainly due to third-party plugins) with high DNS and Connect Time;
* Heavy JavaScript executions in web pages (instead of pop-ups); and
* Multiple redirects bringing shoppers slowly to their final desired URL.

Compuware will publish a complete Web and mobile performance results report for Black Friday through Cyber Monday, including the best practices that retailers should follow to maximize performance for the remainder of the holiday season.

More at www.compuware.com.

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