-- Technical Quality at 30 Leading Web Sites Measured by Keynote
-- Buy.com, Eddie Bauer, J Crew and Toys R Us Among Sites with
-- Keynote to Monitor Retail Sites Throughout Holiday Season
SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 27, 2007--Keynote
Competitive Research, the industry analysis group of Keynote
(Nasdaq:KEYN), today provided an update on the technical performance
(responsiveness and reliability) of leading retail Web sites over the
course of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the busiest online
shopping days of the year. Media interested in receiving a Keynote
briefing and/or Keynote reports over the holiday season on online
retail Web site performance should email Dan Cahill at
"We're seeing two over-arching trends so far this holiday season,"
said Shawn White, director of external operations for Keynote. "First,
is that there appear to be significant slow-downs on a number of
leading retail Web sites, with traditional brick and mortar retailers
faring the worst. Second, is the fact that the slow downs are
impacting at the crucial product search and check-out portions of
their shopping process."
Keynote reported that one-third of the thirty (30) sites it
monitors for its holiday retail index showed significant slow-downs on
Black Friday (November 23rd) and Cyber Monday (November 26th) as a
result of increased online shopping for the holidays. Keynote's
reporting is based on The Keynote Retail Performance Indices,
transaction performance indices comprised of leading online shopping
sites across three retail categories: apparel, electronics and books &
music. The Keynote Retail Transaction Performance Indices measure and
benchmark the performance for a standard online shopping transaction
for 30 leading retail sites. The data used in Keynote's indices is
collected in real time on an hourly basis from 10 major cities across
the U.S., providing an up-to-the-minute barometer of online consumer
experience during the holiday shopping season.
Slowest Going on Search, Check-Out Processes
Keynote noted that most of the performance issues are not in the
initial phases of an online shopping experience, such as homepage
download or browsing, but are typically being seen in the crucial
phases of product search and information and check-out. On a number of
leading retail sites, consumers are seeing check-out page transactions
taking up to 2 minutes to process even on high-speed connections, a
noticeable slow down to consumers used to a one or two second
Keynote experts note that 5% to 10% slow-downs in traffic on Black
Friday and Cyber Monday are common, and likely will not impact the
consumer's online experience or check-out and sales. The worst
performing sites on Black Friday were showing up to a 400% slow down,
which Keynote experts caution will lead to consumers abandoning a
product search or check-out.
"Online consumers with high-speed access at their home or office
expect instant page downloads and transactions, and a two-minute slow
down in product search or shopping cart functions leads to increased
levels of site abandonment," said White.
Traditional Brick and Mortars Seem Weighed Down
Keynote said most of the sites having problems are traditional
brick and mortar retailers who have invested in their Web presence
relatively recently, such as Costco and Lowe's, as compared to
companies with an online history such as Dell and Overstock.com.
Keynote noted that Buy.com, Eddie Bauer, Costco, Lowe's and Toys R Us
were among those sites having notable slow-downs. Keynote said that
Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Dell and Overstock.com were sites performing
very well despite the high holiday traffic. Online traffic to retail
sites is reportedly up more than 10% early this season.
Online shopping will represent about $30 billion in sales this
holiday season, according to eMarketer, and about 30% of all holiday
shopping will be done online this year, up strongly over last year,
according to the National Retail Federation and its Consumer
Intentions and Actions Survey.
Toys R Us experienced significant performance slowdowns by as much
as 300% with average page download times exceeding 30 to 60 seconds
from approximately 1:00 PM to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Cyber Monday.
The slowdowns affected both the home page and the customer's shopping
experience, with product search and adding items to the shopping cart
hardest hit. J Crew saw similar transaction slow-downs with times for
its average transaction increasing over 400%.
Costco experienced significant performance slowdowns by as much as
500% to log on to the site from approximately 10:00 a.m. Eastern to
4:00 p.m. Eastern on Cyber Monday, to add items to the shopping cart
and to complete a purchase. Download times for a transaction averaged
as high as 115 seconds (per page), as compared to an average of 20
seconds outside of the holiday period.
Buy.com saw significant issues with its "Check Out" button on
Cyber Monday, after seeing isolated problems with its product search
process on Black Friday.
Keynote's retail index data is collected using Transaction
Perspective(R) 8.0, Keynote's market-leading Web site performance
measurement and monitoring service. Further information on the Keynote
Retail Performance Indices is available online at:
s/retail/retail_index.html (Due to its length, this URL may need to be
copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the
extra space if one exists.)
Retail Web Sites Included in the Keynote Retail Performance
Apparel sites on Keynote's indices include: Abercrombie & Fitch
(NYSE: ANF); Banana Republic (NYSE: GPS), Eddie Bauer (Nasdaq: EBHI);
Foot Locker (NYSE: FL); Gap (NYSE: GPS); JC Penney (NYSE: JCP); JCrew;
Macy's (Federated Department Stores, NYSE: FD); Neiman Marcus;
Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN); Saks Fifth Avenue (NYSE: SKS); Sears (Nasdaq:
SHLD); and Zappos.
Books and music sites on Keynote's indices include: AbeBooks.com;
Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN); Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS); Borders (NYSE:
BGP); Buy.com; Overstock.com (Nasdaq: OSTK); Target (NYSE: TGT);
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT).
Retail electronics sites on Keynote's indices include: Amazon.com
(Nasdaq: AMZN); Best Buy (NYSE: BBY); Buy.com; CDW (Nasdaq: CDWC);
Circuit City (NYSE: CC); Dell (Nasdaq: DELL); Office Depot (NYSE:
ODP); OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX); Overstock.com (Nasdaq: OSTK); Staples
(Nasdaq: SPLS); Toys R Us (NYSE: XKE); Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT).
Keynote Systems (Nasdaq "KEYN") is the global leader in on-demand
test & measurement solutions for continuously improving the online
experience. As an independent and trusted third-party, Keynote
provides IT and marketing executives with an unbiased view into their
Internet services from around the world. For over a decade, Keynote
has been providing measurement data and testing capabilities that
allow companies to understand and improve their customers' online and
mobile experience. Keynote has four test and measurement businesses:
Web performance, mobile quality, streaming & VoIP, and customer
experience/UX. In addition, Keynote's industry analysis group called
Keynote Competitive Research publishes proprietary studies measuring
customer experience and service levels across a wide range of
Known as The Mobile and Internet Performance Authority(TM),
Keynote has a market-leading infrastructure of 2,400 measurement
computers and mobile devices in over 240 locations around the world.
Keynote also maintains one of the most representative panels of online
users consisting of 160,000 consumers. Keynote's on-demand,
hassle-free infrastructure allows businesses to access services they
need, when they need them to pinpoint and fix mobile quality and
Internet problems before they impact customers.
Keynote helps over 2,700 corporate customers become "the best of
the best" by helping them improve online business performance and
mobile communications quality. Keynote's customers represent top
Internet and mobile companies including American Express, BP,
Caterpillar, Dell, Disney, eBay, ESPN Mobile, E*TRADE, Expedia, FedEx,
Microsoft, SonyEricsson, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and Vodafone.
Keynote Systems, Inc. is headquartered in San Mateo, California
and can be reached at www.keynote.com or by phone in the U.S. at (650)
Keynote, The Internet Performance Authority and Perspective are
registered trademarks and The Mobile and Internet Performance
Authority and True Experience are trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc.
Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. (C) 2007
Keynote Systems, Inc.
CONTACT: Roaring Communications
Dan Cahill, 917-617-0106
SOURCE: Keynote Systems, Inc.