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Some of Britain's slowest e-commerce sites have been named and shamed in a study that warns that e-commerce revenues could be hit unless e-businesses do more to improve page-serving performance. The CacheFlow study found that Net users in Britain typically have to wait an average of 28 seconds for a Web page to download from an e-commerce site, and that waits of two or three times this figure are not untypical. Sluggish hmv.co.uk, Bookshop.blackwell.co.uk and yahoo.co.uk topped the list of worst offenders with average download times of just under a minute per page. lycos.co.uk and excite.co.uk were speedmonsters by comparison with download times of less than ten seconds. Nigel Hawthorn, European marketing director, CacheFlow said: "Web users are fickle creatures. The Web makes it very easy for a shopper to go elsewhere if they find that a Web site is too slow. "When developing a Web site, e-commerce businesses need to consider how the site is connected to the Internet to minimise wait time for users. "This is ultimately going to be as important as the content on the site," he said. The study looked at 50 UK e-commerce Web sites across 13 business categories over a period of two weeks. The test was conducted using 56k dial-up and ISDN accounts from half a dozen different ISPs. Each site was hit 10 times over the two-week period, at a variety of times throughout the day. Although the research is to be welcomed, it should be noted that the company behind it, CacheFlow, also makes products that speed up Web page delivery. The Best and Worst Fastest UK Web sites

Web site Category Average Web page
download time [seconds
lycos.co.uk Search engine 8.34
excite.co.uk Search engine 8.43
easyjet.com Travel 10.78
thetrainline.com Travel 11.41
go-fly.com Travel 14.71
Tescodirect.com Supermarket 14.71
demon.net Communications/ISP 15.73
asda.co.uk Supermarket 16.44
Lloydstsb.co.uk Financial services 17.35
bol.com Books 17.71
Slowest UK Web sites
Web site Category Average Web page
download time [seconds
hmv.co.uk CD and Videos 51.42
Bookshop.blackwell.co.uk Books 47.87
yahoo.co.uk Search engine 47.7
egg.com Financial services 47.6
sony.co.uk Electrical goods 46.29
c-and-a.co.uk Clothes 46.07
dixons.co.uk Electrical goods 45.59
ft.com Media 43.59
jobworld.co.uk Job Search 41.00

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