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UK e-tailers 'lose £300m' in Xmas sales

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Top UK e-tailers are estimated to have lost more than £300 million over the busy Christmas shopping period because of flaky website performance.

According to research which tracked 35 top retail sites over December, around ten per cent of the sites experienced "severe problems" with their performance and download times.

Given that market watcher IMRG estimates that UK's December e-tail spend was £3.3bn, the study conducted by Web performance outfit Site Confidence estimates that UK Internet shops missed out on potential sales worth £0.3bn during the period.

The research, which involved continuous testing of links, download speeds, image presence and uptime, found that the most problems occurred in the gadget sector, with sites such as www.gadgetshop.com, and www.iwantoneofthose.com demonstrating problems between 15 and 30 per cent of the time.

Across the board, the research found that these retail sites took an average of 25 seconds to download pages, but this ranged from as little as 12 seconds for WHSmith, through to nearly a minute in the case of www.gadgetshop.com.

Bill Kirkwood, Site Confidence CEO, said: "A Website that is down is akin to a high-street shop with closed doors - no business should miss out on revenues just because of performance issues." ®

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