Every eCommerce business wants to deliver an exceptional user experience. The better the experience, the more likely consumers will stay on your site and make a purchase. Consumer expectations are ever evolving and in today’s connected world, website speed is a critical factor in determining whether someone will stay and buy, or abandon your site.

The importance of optimizing for website speed

We’ve written a lot about the importance of website speed, and how page load times impact an eCommerce website’s SEO, traffic, and revenue. We’ve also covered the expectations consumers have developed for digital experiences. In fact, 70% of consumers say that a website’s speed impacts their willingness to buy.

Consumers today have an 8-second attention span and feel anxious while waiting for pages to load. Ericsson researchers found that waiting for a page to load has the same psychological discomfort as watching a horror movie. Not only do consumers prefer speedy page loads, but so do search engines: Google’s algorithm favors sites that load quickly, ranking them higher than slower sites.

But optimizing for speed is tricky. The tags, trackers, and scripts that personalization, marketing, and analytics depend upon, are also what adds to page load times. Fortunately, modern web technologies have evolved to deliver site speeds previously impossible. These are eCommerce Progressive Web Applications (PWAs), Single-Page Applications (SPA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

Modern technology breaking down top eCommerce websites

We, at Moovweb, are on a mission to give shoppers back the trillion seconds they waste each year waiting for websites to load. We take speed seriously, and pride those in the industry who have set benchmark standards for others to follow.

We’ve analyzed real-user data from Google’s Chrome User Experience Report, and found the fastest eCommerce websites in verticals varying from apparel to automotive, toys to travel, education to health, and many more. This month, we are showcasing the top 20 apparel, shoes, and accessories retailers for website speed.

eCommerce benchmark leaders and statistics in apparel

Last year, apparel eCommerce sales grew by 18.5% to represent just over a third of U.S. apparel sales. If your site doesn’t load fast, you’re giving your competitor’s instant-loading website the opportunity to rise in ranks.

The apparel, shoes, and accessories category, included 3,151 eCommerce websites visited by American mobile shoppers. The distribution of site speed was varied, with the fastest website seeing a whopping 82.5% of its pages loading in under a second, and the slowest websites having 0. The average share of sub-second pages stands at 22.2%, with a standard deviation of 15.1%, representing a great deal of diversity within the apparel sites and what speeds they can deliver.  

Here are the 20 fastest eCommerce websites in apparel, shoes, and accessories:

Website % of sub-second pages
1 www.weddingshoppeinc.com 82.51
2 www.venus.com 80.83
3 www.swimoutlet.com 79.11
4 www.yandy.com 76.77
5 www.lids.com 69.52
6 www.shoeshowmega.com 67.05
7 www.victoriassecret.com 66.91
8 www.shopbop.com 63.30
9 www.bestbridalprices.com 63.28
10 www.knockaround.com 63.11
11 www.milbstore.com 62.12
12 www.cavenders.com 60.99
13 www.chanel.com 58.66
14 www.fansedge.com 57.39
15 www.simplydresses.com 57.13
16 www.qmuniforms.com 56.52
17 www.dunhamsfanatics.com 56.51
18 www.eastdane.com 55.83
19 www.candyapplecostumes.com 55.73
20 www.fanatics.com 55.54

The 20 fastest apparel sites average with 64.4% of pages loading in under one second. This sets the bar high for the entire apparel, shoes, and accessories vertical. Interestingly, sports apparel and bridal retailers have represent 8 out of the top 20 fastest sites. If you’re in these markets, then lookout — your competitors are creating a standard that everyone must follow.

Ranked at number one, Wedding Shoppe delivers 85.5% of its pages in under one second. This family-owned bridal retailer has one of the largest bridal salons in the country and have been awarded on local and national levels, including Outstanding Retailer of the Year. Their mission is to create happiness...well Wedding Shoppe, you are delighting customers with impressive site speeds!

Venus Fashion is the second fastest site to load for mobile shoppers in the US. Venus.com exemplifies what speed looks like with an eCommerce Edge PWA, delivered on the Moovweb XDN. Venus went from 15.25% of its site pages loading in under a second to 80.83% of pages loading in under a second, for American consumers in July 2019. If you want to know what instant feels like, use your phone to go to: www.venus.com/.

Fanatics, the global leader in sports merchandise, is another leader to note as it powers four of the websites ranked, including Fanatics.com, Fansedge.com, Dunhamsfanatics.com, and Lids.com. Together, this multi-domain commerce averages at 59.74% of its pages loading in under a second, with under 2% difference between the bottom the three sites. Fanatics has proven itself to be nothing but consistent when delivering sub-second eCommerce websites.

Chanel and Victoria's Secret are other noteworthy names to make the list with, and Fila and Windsor just shy of making the cut. These companies know how to deliver an exceptional experience that keep customers coming back for more.

Brand names losing with slow website speeds

Name brands, we all know and love, sometimes do not deliver the speeds that you’d expect. For instance Kate Spade, Barney’s, Neiman Marcus, and Eddie Bauer all have less than 15% of their website pages loading in under a second on mobile. And although Prada, Coach, and Hermes find themselves higher on the list with 33% of their pages loading in under one second, this is just half of what the top 20 are doing. The biggest brand names out there are overlooking one of the best investments a company can make today: delivering instant loading websites on mobile.

Here are 20 brand name domains that have fallen short:

Website % of sub-second pages
1 www.marcjacobs.com 10.6
2 www.eileenfisher.com 10.1
3 www.barneys.com 9.8
4 www.freepeople.com 9.4
5 www.tommybahama.com 8.8
6 www.madewell.com 8.2
7 www.anthropologie.com 7.6
8 www.neimanmarcus.com 6.2
9 www.bcbg.com 5.6
10 www.eddiebauer.com 5.6
11 www.uniqlo.com 4.5
12 www.urbanoutfitters.com 3.2
13 www.forever21.com 3.0
14 www.asics.com 2.2
15 www.juicycouture.com 1.3
16 www.dsw.com .80
17 usa.tommy.com 0.00
18 shop.guess.com 0.00
19 us.puma.com 0.00
20 us.jimmychoo.com 0.00

Bottom Line

Site speed matters. Today’s consumers seek fast, engaging, and personalized online experiences. To remain competitive, you need to invest in website speed optimization to provide a seamless experience from landing through checkout. Those who recognize this today will find themselves at the front of the competitive eCommerce race tomorrow, for years to come.

But delivering a nearly-instant and engaging experience requires intelligent technology for things like advanced caching and predictive prefetching. And essentially, site speed is a full-stack problem that spans the browser, edge (CDN), and server and requires a solution that optimizes all layers to get you to instant loading websites.

No matter what eCommerce industry you’re in, Moovweb wants both consumers and businesses to win with lightning-fast page loads. This is why we have built the Moovweb XDN, the only full stack solution for website speed.  Utilizing a portable, open frontend, CDN-as-Code, and a Node.js BFF, the Moovweb XDN delivers websites that load, literally, in the blink of an eye. Websites on the XDN see 90%+ cache hit ratio for dynamic content/data on the edge and a median page load speed of 320 ms (LCP), which results in 15-30% conversion lifts and a 32.1% boost to eCommerce organic traffic.

We are already trusted by the largest database driven, enterprise eCommerce companies including United, Venus Fashion, 1-800-Flowers, and FeelUnique, just to name a few who consistently enjoy big wins. If you’d like to see your name on top of the list of the fastest sites, schedule a consultative conversation to see how Moovweb can get you there.