For most adults, it feels like a holiday miracle when the gift shopping/wrapping is over and you can focus on family time, waiting for the end-of-the-year mayhem to subside. Before that, there is simply no time – nor patience – for slow loading eCommerce websites. Especially when research has found that waiting for a slow website to load causes the same psychological stress as watching a horror movie by yourself. Fortunately, eCommerce businesses are increasingly more aware of the impact that website speed has on consumers’ wellbeing, with category leaders adopting Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), Single Page Applications (SPAs), and AMP technology, so that shoppers will not have a horror-movie experience during the holidays.
Achieving sub-second page loads isn’t easy. Especially for complex, dynamic eCommerce websites with real-time inventory lookups, dynamic pricing, and personalization. This is why we showcase those in the industry that have invested in delivering speedy experiences for consumers on a monthly basis.
In our previous installments, we shared speed benchmarks for apparel and travel websites. This month, in honor of the holidays, we have analyzed real-user data from Google’s Chrome User Experience (CrUX) to identify the fastest and slowest toys, crafts, science, and hobbies websites visited by US mobile shoppers. Read on for our findings, and enjoy the holidays!
Toys and Tech
This November 190 million US shoppers hopped online and generated an all-time high for eCommerce revenue during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday brought in $5.4B online sales, representing a 22.3% year-over-year (YoY) increase, while online revenue during Cyber Monday skyrocketed to $9.4B, representing a 19.7% YoY increase. These two discount days kick off the holiday season where consumers start their holiday gift shopping. But where do the millions of US shoppers choose to spend their disposable income?
In the past, Toys “R” Us dominated this category. Unfortunately, the retailer filed for bankruptcy two years ago, which opened the market to renewed competition. This year, Walmart, Target, and Amazon stormed the market, absorbing 15% market share from the former toy giant to date.
Walmart and Target have seen recent wins over Amazon during 2019 Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with the former two seeing consumer spend grow on average 53% more YoY than the latter. Both Walmart and Target utilize modern frontends to deliver speedy eCommerce experiences to their customers. Amazon, on the other hand, still delivers a traditional website.
Slow eCommerce websites are no longer those that load in 3-5 seconds and up. In 2019 and 2020, one second is the number to beat. Websites that deliver instant journeys from landing through checkout are seeing impressive SEO, traffic, and revenue lifts.
Here are the site speed leaders in the toys, crafts, science, and hobbies category.
2019 Fastest and Slowest Toys, Crafts, Science, and Hobbies eCommerce Websites
We analyzed Google CrUX data for 134 eCommerce websites in toys, crafts, science, and hobbies, and ranked them from the fastest to the slowest for mobile US shoppers. The distribution is skewed, with an average of 20.5% sub-second pages and a median of 17.5% of website pages loading in less than a second. This number is not compelling to us, as we know it it’s possible to reach 75%+ of pages loading instantly, like we do for our customers.
This year, the fastest site, 3000toys.com saw 72.8% of its website pages loading in under a second on mobile. In comparison, the slowest website, lakeshorelearning.com delivers a mere 0.1% of its pages in less than one second. Here is the full breakdown of the 20 fastest toys, crafts, science, and hobby websites for mobile US shoppers in 2019.
Website speed benchmark leaders for Toys, Crafts, Science, and Hobbies
based on percentage of sub-second pages
3000toys.com began in 1995 selling quality toys and collectible models from around the globe. Today, it ranks as the fastest toy site on the web with over 72.8% of its pages loading in less than one second for mobile shoppers. Despite its name, this site features approximately 18,000 toys, making this an insanely impressive site for your toy shopping needs. Google’s Lighthouse report scores this site’s performance, accessibility, and SEO all over 90, proving this to be a leading website in its category.
GameStop, a Fortune 500 company and the world's largest video game retailer, came in third with a 59% share of sub-second pages. Since 2014, the game retailer has devoted itself to tech innovation with the launch of the GameStop Technology Institute. The retailer continues to deliver impressive advances to this day, including its own sub-second website.
“Our goal is to deliver technology advancements that drive positive customer experiences and cultivate innovation within the retail space.”
The Netflix of video games, GameFly, closes the top 20 list with its AMP supported SPA. GameFly’s catalog of thousands of video games for rent are available to its nearly 1M monthly visitors. The site delivers over 50% of its pages in under one second, nearly 1.5 times the category average. The service is currently available in 23 countries around the world, and is named a key player in the Cloud Gaming market – which value is expected to grow from $1B to $8B by 2025.
Website speed benchmark losers for Toys, Crafts, Science, and Hobbies
based on percentage of sub-second pages
Every month we find that some of the most advertised names out there have the most underperforming websites. Big names such as Lakeshore Learning, Fisher Science, American Girl, and Michaels have no more than 10% of their website page loading in sub-seconds. It is brand names like these that throw an enormous amount of money toward brand awareness, but fail to provide customers the online experience they crave – a customer journey that keeps them moving swiftly through checkout.
More and more eCommerce retailers are investing in website speed, especially after Google has made it a determining factor for both search ranking (SEO) and website Quality Score (SEM). With over half of eCommerce revenue coming in from a combination of organic and paid campaigns on Google, site speed is a critical feature for a business’ visibility, traffic, and bottom-line
Leaders who’ve adopted progressive web apps, single page applications, accelerated mobile pages, are leading the pack. However, frontend upgrades alone still aren't cutting it. Consumers expect instant – and instant sites are born out of full-stack website solutions that optimize the browser, edge, and the server, like Layer0.
Join industry leaders who see huge wins with their sub-second eCommerce PWAs powered by Layer0, like 1-800-Flowers who received a 50% boost in conversions, Venus Fashion who delivers +80% of their pages loading in sub-seconds, and Annie Selke who outranks Amazon, Williams-Sonoma, and other multi-billion dollar competitors with instant page loads.
If you’d like to prioritize site speed and achieve impressive business victories, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a consultative conversation to understand how Layer0 can help you get a competitive advantage.