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New Analyst Report Reveals Top Performing Retailers

In the annual Retailer Website Performance Report conducted by Retail Systems Research (RSR), retail brands were evaluated and ranked based on criteria such as site speed, features, user experience, responsiveness, and overall performance. Although this is the 5th annual report, conducting research during a year like no other has resulted in some eye-opening findings.  

Read the full report here. 

Top Performers 

The report’s focus was on 80 brands whose rank fell between numbers 45 and 200 on the Internet Retailer Top 500 list. This year’s evaluation landed seven brands in the top three spots. First place goes to J. Crew.  

To see the full list of winners, check out the report. 

And the Survey Says… 

RSR also surveyed more than 1,000 US-based consumers ages 18 and up, to get their perspective on how online retailers are doing in terms of site performance. This data appears throughout the report and provides first-hand context for what shoppers deem most important, as well as their behaviors for when things go awry. 

Some of the questions asked this year were: 

  • Where do you begin your online search for a desired product?  
  • How frustrated do you get when you go shopping online and the site is slow?  
  • What do you do when you are frustrated with a slow site?  
  • How frequently do you purchase something directly from a social media page?  
  • What was the worst online shopping experience you had in the past 12 months (including the holidays of 2020)?  

To learn the results of the survey, check out the full report. 

The Good, the Bad, the… Slow? 

Due to such a volatile market, retailers were judged on their ability to control what they can, not what they can’t. 

For example, with the cost of goods, groceries, gas, utilities, lumber, — basically everything at an all-time high, it’s critical for retailers to offer what shoppers want: flexible payment options.  

The evaluation found that many fashion retailers (Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, UnderArmour) have embraced 3rd party solutions like Shoprunner, Klarna, and Afterpay, enabling shoppers to buy the styles they want the moment the impulse hits them regardless of whatever their current financial situation may be. 

Another critical element that brands can control is their site performance. While shoppers are forced to endure shipping lags, delivery delays, and inventory issues, retailers have an obligation to make sure consumers have an outstanding (including fast) online shopping experience in order to stand out from the competition. 

The Experts Stress Scalability 

At the closing of the report, RSR has some advice for brands heading into the holidays and beyond: “Speeding up your site and improving shopper experience will keep your brand in the game. However, it’s not enough to take a quick-fix approach in solving these problems. We don’t know what uncontrollable challenges will pop up next. But by focusing on a long-term, scalable solution, retailers can take back control in an unpredictable environment.” 

Learn what your brand should be focusing on for the year ahead by downloading the full report today!