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Retail Systems Research eCommerce Report Warns Brands Must Optimize Digital Or Face “Serious Consequences”

Due To COVID-19 A Precise Online Shopping Experience Is Now Imperative With 90% Of Shoppers Stating They Won’t Wait For A Slow Web Page To Load

Waltham, MA—August 11, 2020—Yottaa, Inc., the leading Cloud platform for accelerating eCommerce, today announced the publication of a new research report titled, “2020 Retailer Website Performance Evaluation – The Digital Experience: Retailers Who Neglect It Face Serious Consequences.” The research, which is now in its 4th year of publication, was conducted by Retail Systems Research (RSR) and evaluates 80 major retail websites on page speed performance and shopper experience. The report also includes survey results from 1,100 consumers to provide their perspective on eCommerce site performance.

RSR, an industry market intelligence firm that helps retailers make more strategic decisions about the role of information technology in their enterprise, conducted the study from April to May of 2020. In keeping with the methodology used in its previous reports on this topic, RSR assembled a list of 80 top retail sites, and then evaluated these brands’ website performance across multiple criteria. This year RSR focused primarily on retailers’ mobile sites, due to consumers’ rapidly increasing trend to make that channel their primary point of contact with a brand and its products. RSR then surveyed 1,100 US-based consumers ages 18 and up, gathering their perspective on how online retailers are doing in terms of site performance. This data appears throughout the report, providing first-hand context for what shoppers deem most important, as well as their behaviors for when things go awry.

“With consumers shopping primarily online and retailers desperate to make up lost revenue from recent brick and mortar store closings, digital channels are the last frontier of survival for retail brands,” said Steve Rowen, Managing Partner, Retail Systems Research (RSR). “Based on the findings from our new report on eCommerce site performance, retailers that cannot rely on their online offerings’ ability to serve as their primary face to the consumers now face the very serious chance of extinction.”

Below are key findings from the report that illustrate the performance challenges that many eCommerce sites face today. The full RSR report, which was sponsored by Yottaa, can be downloaded here or at

Top Performers
Based on the criteria for the report, where a full range of 0-3 points was available across 18 categories, the following retailers took top honors (all scores are out of 54 possible points):

Ralph Lauren – 42.5 points
Tailored Brands (Men’s Wearhouse) – 40 points
Foot Locker – 37.5 points
L Brands (Victoria’s Secret) – 37.5 points

In the Age of COVID-19 Site Speed is Critical
According to the findings of the report, due to COVID-19 “a precise online shopping experience is now imperative.” Adding to the digital pressure is the upcoming holiday shopping season that presents a huge opportunity for retailers to make up lost ground online – but only if they have their eCommerce sites operating at maximum efficiency. At the root of RSR’s research is the assumption that website speed matters, especially during a pandemic when shopping is mainly conducted digitally. To confirm or refute this assertion, RSR asked shoppers to weigh in on what happens when a site loads too slowly. For the second year in a row, approximately 9 out of 10 shoppers say they will abandon a site if it is too slow.

Site Performance Scores Are – Once Again – Too Slow
After conducting performance tests this year, the low scores received by the retailers forced RSR to go back and amend the criteria to be less harsh. This is bad news, indeed, as it appears that all of the 3rd party technologies retailers are adding to their sites are actually slowing them down – and shoppers are vocal: they are clearly frustrated by slow sites. When asked if they get frustrated when they go shopping online and the site is slow, only 8% of shoppers report this as not being an issue, with 52% citing it as a major sore spot. With the massive shift to shopping online currently taking place around the globe, this is no time for retailers to be slow.

The Top 10 Fastest Loading Retail Sites

  1. Ascena Retail Group (LOFT)
  2. Groupon Goods
  3. 1-800 Contacts
  5. Lands’ End
  6. MidwayUSA
  7. L Brands (Victoria’s Secret)
  8. Carter’s
  9. Ralph Lauren
  10. Express

Mobile Continues to Improve
According to the RSR report, consumers’ confidence in the mobile channel’s ability to be their one-and-only point of interaction is growing at a staggering rate. Nearly one out of three shoppers report that their standard operating procedure is to now complete an entire transaction on their mobile device, a percentage that would have been unheard of even a few years ago.

“2020 has been a very challenging year for online brands. This new report from RSR clearly demonstrates that the brands that will survive the current economic environment are ones that are aggressively optimizing their digital channels through innovative technologies, such as Yottaa,” said Rich Stendardo, CEO of Yottaa. “I am extremely proud that 7 of the top 10 fastest loading sites ranked in the RSR report are Yottaa customers. Many of our customers been able to exceed their eCommerce revenue targets throughout the COVID-19 crisis due to faster and more engaging sites, and all of them are well positioned for even greater success during the upcoming holiday shopping season when online traffic will be at historic levels.”

Click here to download the full RSR report “2020 Retailer Website Performance Evaluation – The Digital Experience: Retailers Who Neglect It Face Serious Consequences.”

About Yottaa
Leading brands such as Ann, Inc., Carter’s, Express, Lands’ End, Mattress Firm, Party City, Ralph Lauren, and Samsonite rely on Yottaa to accelerate, optimize, and control 3rd party eCommerce technologies, high resolution images, and other website elements, resulting in superior customer experiences, up to 60% faster web performance, and up to 20% increases in online conversion. To learn more about how Yottaa can optimize every page load on your eCommerce site and increase conversions, please visit or follow @yottaa on Twitter.


Media Contact:
Tedd Rodman