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Thanksgiving Day 2019: The Fastest and Slowest Retail Websites

Web Performance

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An estimated $4.2B was spent online on Thanksgiving Day 2019 - up $300M (8%) from last year. Blue Triangle's retail customer traffic was up 105% from Wednesday, compared to a 40% increase in 2018.

11-27 through 11-28 traffic levels v2

Blue Triangle retail customer traffic: 11/27 – 11/28

But the uptick in traffic comes at a cost: more site outages and slower websites. Nordstrom Rack and Costco experienced widely publicized outages Thanksgiving Day, and a number of major retailer websites slowed down significantly (compared to Wednesday 11/27). Target slowed 34% and BJ's slowed 40%, according to Blue Triangle Benchmarks data.

Outages and slow experiences result in lost sales. Below we see how conversion rate drops as users experience a slower and slower web page.

conversion rate by page load time gif-1


This year we are focusing on two critical web performance metrics - Page Load Time and Time to Interactive.

Page Load Time
The amount of time required for the server to load the page completely, including content, images, JavaScript, CSS, and other external files.

Time to Interactive
The amount of time it takes for the web page to become fully interactive. This is a Google Lighthouse metric, and is weighted heavily in Google's PageSpeed Score (v5) calculation.

The below report is based on Home Page measurements run by Blue Triangle's Synthetic Monitoring, taken from 5 US locations.

Leading Retailers

Time to Interactive (sec)

time to interactive by top 20 retailers v2

Page Load Time (sec)

page load time by top 20 retailers v3

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The Fastest Digital Commerce 360 Top 500 Retailers

Time to Interactive

ir500 fastest tti-1

Page Load Time

ir500 fastest plt

The Slowest Digital Commerce 360 Top 500 Retailers

Time to Interactive

ir500 slowest tti-1

Page Load Time

ir500 slowest plt

Key takeaways

  • Blue Triangle’s retail customer traffic increased 105% Thanksgiving Day compared to Wednesday 11/27. That is up significantly from last year (40% increase).
  • Within the Digital Commerce 360 Top 20, the fastest site was Grainger. Grainger was not pushing Black Friday deals; the next fastest site was Staples. The slowest was QVC.
  • Major retailers Target and BJ’s slowed down on Thanksgiving Day, compared to Wednesday 11/27. Target slowed 34%, and BJ’s slowed 40%.

See where the top US retailers stack up weekly: Access the Retail US Benchmarks

Have any questions or comments? Send me an email:

Black Friday report >
Cyber Monday report >>

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