67% of UK’s leading e-commerce giants fall short on website performance standards   

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67% of UK’s leading e-commerce giants fall short on website performance standards    Duncan is an award-winning researcher, with 20 years experience of analysing the technology industry, specialising in cloud computing, edge computing, blockchain, cybersecurity and marketing technology.


Research from vshosting~, one of Europe’s leading providers of cloud and managed hosting services for e-commerce and IT businesses, today reveals a major performance gap in UK’s e-commerce landscape.

While UK’s largest e-commerce businesses have enjoyed significant online success, these businesses are trailing behind UK’s fastest-growing businesses when it comes to vital web metrics – a disparity that could impact future security and success.  

According to the Retail Readiness Report released today from vshosting~, the UK’s biggest e-commerce players are falling behind which may be affecting conversion rates due to slow web loading speeds. A significant 67% miss the industry benchmark of 1-2 seconds 1 loading time, with the slowest recorded at 7.13 seconds, compared to just a third (36%) of the fastest-growing retailers. This discrepancy results in a potential 16% lower e-commerce conversion rate compared to the highest-growth ecommerce brands.  

The report, which marks the launch of vshosting~ in the UK, sheds light on the key infrastructural underpinnings that drive success for e-commerce businesses in the UK. It aggregates various e-commerce site performance metrics and compares industry leaders with the fastest-growing counterparts. The report also identifies key areas with the potential for growth, enabling UK’s fastest-growing ecommerce business to scale their operations effectively and sustainably to keep pace with the industry’s largest players.  

Technical findings from the research include:  

  • Majority (95%) of UK’s biggest e-commerce players have yet to embrace Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), the latest generation of the Internet Protocol 
  • Twice as many leading e-commerce (31%) businesses do not currently use Content delivery network (CDN) from the industry’s top five, compared to fastest growing retailers (15%) 
  • Not implementing either solutions can undermine retail security and performance 

Despite these disparities, the UK’s largest e-commerce businesses excel in other critical growth areas and technology to improve the customer experience, including: 

  • Nearly all (98%) of the largest e-commerce businesses have mobile apps, compared to just 21% of the fastest-growing online retailers 
  • When looking at customer service, over half (52%) of the largest online retailers now use AI chatbots to streamline customer communications, while less than a third (26%) of high growth e-commerce firms have implemented this technology on their websites 
  • None of the fastest-growing retailers have AR reality software on their websites, missing out on this rising trend of virtual fitting rooms and ‘see-it-in-your-home’ technology   

Commenting on the findings, Damir Špoljarič, CEO and co-founder of vshosting~ said: “Running a thriving e-commerce business today demands multiple considerations, such as coping with seasonal demand like the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, ensuring websites load swiftly, preparing for potential DDoS attacks and other cyber threats and mitigating unexpected downtimes. As a business expands its features and offerings, it’s crucial to understand that growth and improvement rely on the web server’s reliability for online business integrity. 

“I’m pleased to see the fast-growing businesses excelling in online performances and it makes sense, seeing as many of these businesses were online-first. While their achievements are commendable, it’s crucial they look towards major players for essential infrastructure upgrades like mobile apps and AI chatbots, which are reflective of the evolving customer expectations. Growing retailers often rely on template backend hosting software initially, but as they embrace innovations like AI, mobile tech, and AR/VR to enhance shopping, they’ll outgrow these solutions and require more tailored support for increased traffic.”

vshosting~ launched its first UK office this month, with a local data centre in Portsmouth. The UK launch comes at a point of rapid growth for vshosting~ as company revenues grew by 20% in 2022. Founded in 2006, now over 35,000 businesses host with vshosting~, and the company employs over 100 technical experts around the world. 

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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