Earlier this week Luxury Daily reported on AlertSite’s analysis of the Web page load speeds and site availability of the top luxury brands in retail and automotives in Q1 of 2012. It’s clear that, unlike several other industry sectors, luxury brands take the quality of their website performance just as seriously as the quality of their products and services.
What can other businesses learn from the luxury brands we monitor with AlertSite? For one thing, size matters. All brands need to be conscious of the size of the images they are putting on their home pages. The larger the image’s size, the longer it takes to load, which ultimately may discourage visitors from engaging with your site or returning to it.
The second takeaway is that brands must understand and evaluate the impact of social media plug-ins on website performance – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. While social plug-ins are an established part of brand marketing today, they also can consume processing resources and slow down your site noticeably.
For Q1, Mercedes Benz had by far the slowest average response time (11.32 seconds) due largely to the time it took for the following image to load:
(This vehicle performs well on the road, but not on the Web.)
The average response time across the automotive brands in Q1 was 4.47 seconds, so Mercedes Benz clearly struggled to deliver a speedy Web experience. The rule of thumb is that your page load time should always be below four seconds. People’s attention spans are short; make them wait and they will inevitably move on to a competitor whose site is faster.
On the brands side, Tag Heuer continues to do a good job. Its simplistic site message allowed it to score the fastest loading time at .99 seconds, and it tied with Louis Vuitton for best site availability at 99.98 percent. Burberry ranked last in site availability at 96.36 percent, below the rest of the brands we monitored, none of which fell below 99 percent. Burberry’s numbers are lower because we detected some site timeouts near the end of March that exceeded 60 seconds. Under our measurements, those timeouts counted as the page being unavailable.
You can see more site performance results in the Luxury Daily article.