The second Amazon Prime Day came and went earlier this month with at least eight other major retailers joining in with their own online sales and promotions. When it comes to online retail, Amazon, whose total sales were nearly a third of the entire US retail e-commerce market last year, is a pace-setter that other companies have to keep up with.

But keeping up with Amazon requires more than just matching the online retail giant’s sales and promotions. It also means keeping your site available, reliable and fast all year round but especially on your busiest sales days.

Amazon had some hiccups on Prime Day, which was reportedly its biggest sales day ever, but generally passed the performance test. Its site was available, its page load and response times not much different than what we usually see from Amazon the rest of the year. Compare that with Neiman-Marcus’ and Target’s notable stumbles on Black Friday and Cyber Monday respectively last year.

Amazon isn’t the fastest retail site we track. On Prime Day, Kohl’s and Best Buy beat Amazon in most performance categories. But Amazon is consistently one of the better performers in the Render Start measurement, or when content first appears on the page. This metric generally is used to describe the performance of “above the fold” content or the first information the user sees and has a chance to interact with. Prime Day was no different. Amazon was second only to Kohl’s in average render start even as it was in the middle of the pack of most other metrics we track.

Retailer Median Render Start (in ms) on Amazon Prime Day (July 12)
Kohl’s 853
Amazon 909
Best Buy 948
Gap 1072
Newegg 1085
Walmart 1192
Sears 1235
ToysRUs 1295
JCPenney Co. 1656.5


It managed this even with the heaviest site of those with special sales and promotions on Prime Day and under heavy site traffic all day.

Other retailers may never match Amazon’s reach, inventory and sellers’ networks. But they can beat or at least match Amazon in performance, especially when it counts the most: on the busiest sales days of the year.

To learn more about what your site can do to keep up with Amazon in digital performance, download our free ebook, Keeping Up With Amazon: How performance monitoring can help you keep pace with the ecommerce industry leader.

Download “Keeping Up with Amazon” here.

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