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Radware And Level 3 Announce Key Findings On Page Speed Of Europe's Top 400 Retail Websites

Stocks in this article: LVLT RDWR

MAHWAH, New Jersey and LONDON, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Radware ® (NASDAQ: RDWR), a leading provider of web performance, application delivery and application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers, and Level 3 Communications announced today that 3 out of 4 of Europe's top 400 retail websites take more than 3 seconds to load, failing to meet online shoppers' performance demands.

Numerous user experience studies have found that most online shoppers will abandon a page after waiting 3 seconds for it to load. Slow pages have been linked to lower conversion rates, revenues, and customer satisfaction. In one well-known study of 158 organizations, a 1-second delay in page load time resulted in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions.

Radware released its latest findings today in a report - entitled "State of the Union: European Ecommerce Page Speed and Web Performance" - in association with Level 3 Communications, a leading provider of Content Delivery Network (CDN) services. This survey is believed to be the first web performance study of Europe's top 400 retail websites. The sites surveyed included those of major retailers from Germany, the U.K. and France.

The survey's key findings include:

- The median load time for first-time visitors was 7.04 seconds.

- 1 out of 4 sites took more than 10 seconds to load.

- 1 out of 3 pages contained 100+ resource requests. Page resources -- including CSS, JavaScript, and image files -- are the content objects in every web page. Each of these resources represents one server round trip that is needed to pull all the page's resources to the user's browser. More server round trips typically equal longer page render times.

- 79% of sites did not use a content delivery network (CDN). CDNs cache page's resources closer to the relevant end users, allowing resources to make shorter round trips and speed up rendering. Yet only 1 out of 5 of the leading online retailers currently uses a CDN.

"These findings are a wake-up call for online retailers in Europe," said Joshua Bixby, vice president, application acceleration, Radware. "In today's hyper-competitive retail climate, site owners need to know that 7-second load times are simply much too slow, and they need to realize that shoppers are not oblivious to the issue of page speed. When fully three-quarters of sites are disappointing end users, that number can't be ignored."

"It is clear from this survey that online retailers need a fast, reliable and secure global network infrastructure to deliver the best online shopping experience to customers," said James Heard, Level 3 regional president of EMEA. "Our global CDN services can accelerate the delivery of rich, interactive and dynamic websites, allowing faster web page rendering and better enabling our customers to gain more online conversions."

Tests for the survey were conducted using WebPagetest.org - an open-source third-party online tool that simulates page load times from the perspective of real users using real browsers - in November and December of 2012. WebPagetest.org also measures a site's adoption of core performance best practices and identifies whether or not a site is using a content delivery network to cache content closer to end users.

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