A case study of the top 50 e-commerce sites and their DNS

The recent Black Friday we again saw the news for record-breaking revenues and profits. Over the past few years, the web has gotten faster, according to Google, 53% of users will abandon a site if it doesn’t load within three seconds. By this, you can guess that for a shopping site, the speed of the website reflects its revenue. So, we want to see whether e-commerce sites got faster as well?

The DDoS attacks are also increasing. According to Kaspersky Lab 33% of organizations experienced a DDoS attack in 2017, compared to 17% in 2016. So we also want to know if the top shopping websites are well prepared for future attacks.

In this article, we will check with our DNS tool all of the top 50 E-Commerce websites. We will see if their speed and DDoS protection is fine or they will need to improve. Based on our research we will make recommendations how these websites can improve.

ecommerce DNS

DNS Tool

For this research, we will be using our DNS lookup tool

It shows how fast the servers are responding from six different international locations – 1. Roubaix, France, 2. Atlanta, USA, 3. Sao Paulo, Brazil, 4. Sydney, Australia, 5. Johannesburg, South Africa and 6. Singapore.

It is a small and very helpful tool that you can use for diagnostic of your DNS. It is easy to use, and it let you download a PDF report of your findings.

What are we checking?

Name servers

We are checking how many name servers are listed on the parent server. It is recommended to be more than two; three is ok, four is better. This adds resilient to your DNS network; it will result in better up time. If one or two are down for maintenance, the rest will still satisfy the needs of your customers. Another benefit is the increased security. More servers can handle better the traffic and this way they resist more to DDoS attacks.

NS records

NS records delegate a sub-domain to the name servers you have. They should be synchronized.

SOA record

Another that needs to show the same result for all of the name servers. It shows the start of authority, so it must indicate the same master name server, timestamp and few more characteristic.

A record distribution

By location for the domain and the www.domain (same but with www).

Speed

And finally one of the most important for an e-commerce website, the speed. As said above, a slow site can push the visitors away and lose a lot of sales.

Top 50 E-commerce websites

For the case study, we will also use the following SimilarWeb rank list.

Results

You can find all reports that we generated and additional information in this spreadsheet.

1.Amazon.com

The first one in the list is Amazon.com. They are using Dyn DNS and Neustar UltraDNS and average response time of the name servers is 50.66ms. We don’t know why they don’t use their DNS network – Route 53.

2. Taobao.com

Very slow global speed – 350.59ms. They don’t use any DNS provider, which is interesting since they are owned by Alibaba, and Alibaba has AliDNS. We don’t know why Alibaba does not use their DNS services.

3. eBay.com

Congratulations eBay, that’s the way to do it. Using Verisign as their Primary DNS provider and Dyn as a Secondary DNS. Low speed in South Africa, but they have ebay.co.za for that.

4. Tmall.com

Another property of Alibaba. Low speed even in Singapore (above 130ms). Not good Tmall. Alibaba do you plan to use your DNS for your websites?

5. Craigslist.org

Not a typical shopping site, but it’s on the list, so we need to check it out. Average speed 162.98ms. Even the two name servers in Atalanta show 64 and 63 ms. We think their users deserve better speed than that. No backup DNS.

6. AliExpress.com

In 2016, AliExpress claimed they reduced load time by 36% and recorded a 10.5% increase in orders and a 27% increase in conversion rates. Our report shows that they are using Alibaba Cloud. But unfortunately, this doesn’t help. The average response time of the name servers is 215.78ms. Just two name servers are showing speed less than 100ms. And this is a global site which depends on international users. We suggest adding a Secondary DNS provider. A company which generated almost 23 Billion in revenue in a single day, surely can set aside few thousands of dollars annually for this.

7. JD.com

An average response time of the name servers is 399.32ms. If they want to beat Alibaba at least, they have to provide good speed for their users. Singapore speed is also very low – name server in Singapore shows 145ms.

Next stop four properties of Amazon in different locations. Let’s see if some of them are using Route 53 this time.

8. Amazon.de

Excellent speed Amazon.de – 50.60ms. Using two DNS providers again – Neustar and Dyn. No sign of Route53 though. Interesting.

9. Amazon.co.uk

Good job Amazon.co.uk. – the best global speed of the top 10 websites – 45ms. Using ten name servers and two DNS providers again – Neustar and Dyn. This is a recipe for success. Still no sign of Route53 though.

10. Amazon.co.jp

Two DNS providers again – Neustar and Dyn and good average response – 76.06ms.

11. eBay.co.uk

Using Verisign as their Primary DNS provider and Dyn as a Secondary DNS as eBay.com. Good overall speed.

12. Walmart.com

The whopping amount of 12 name servers. Not the fastest global speed, but since the majority of their audience is coming from the US, the result is excellent. Using two DNS providers, Akamai and Neustar UltraDNS. Some say that they got in the online business too late, but they are sure fast learners and understand that speed and security is the only way to compare to Amazon.

13. Avito.ru

According to SimilarWeb, the majority of their traffic is coming from Russia, Ukraine and the rest of the CIS countries. Wow, 2.17ms. Global speed and maybe we have a winner. They are using Cloudflare and no secondary DNS provider. Fast speed on all 6 test POPs. We can’t say much, except that they are doing an excellent job. Only if they had backup DNS, it would have been the perfect example.

14. Mercadolivre.com.br

Latin America’s most popular e-commerce website. According to Similarweb 98% of the Mercadolivre.com.br traffic is coming from Brazil. No DNS providers, The speed is not good even in Brazil – above 100ms.

15. Amazon.in

Around 10% of their traffic is international, so it’s good for them to have good global speed. And they do. Using Dyn and UltraDNS, they achieve excellent speed – 68.96ms, except South Africa.

16. Rakuten.co.jp

No DNS providers = slow global speed. Not much to say here. Guess they don’t rely on revenues outside Japan.

17. Allegro.pl

Again no DNS providers = slow average response. Yes, you’ll say they don’t need it because they are targeting mostly users in Poland, but what about the searches outside PL. Around 5% of their traffic is coming outside Poland. And what about DDoS protection and backup?

18. eBay.de

As the other eBay domains, this one is also using Verisign as their Primary DNS provider and Dyn as a Secondary DNS. Good overall response – 70.92ms.

19. Amazon.fr

Around 20% of the traffic comes outside of France, so it’s good to have at least reasonable EU speed. And they do. Using Dyn and UltraDNS, they achieve excellent global speed, except South Africa.

20. Аmazon.it

Amazon surely knows how important is speed and to have a backup. So far they are using the same recipe for success – two DNS providers – Dyn and UltraDNS.

21. Leboncoin.fr

The French classified site. Good speed in France, slow speed globally. No sign of DNS providers. If anyone from Leboncoin is reading, please protect your revenue and your users and set up a backup DNS.

22. 58.com

Like all other Chinese e-commerce sites, they also have terrible global speed – 357.49ms and don’t use Managed DNS provider.

23. Target.com

Using Akamai which is good, but no Secondary DNS provider. Excellent speed in the US and Europe. Overall good – below 100ms.

24. Etsy.com

One of our personal favorites. Let’s see how they perform the test. Using AWS and Dyn. Nice to know that someone is using Route 53 after we found out that the Amazon doesn’t. Good speed everywhere except South Africa – 51.06ms.

25. Bestbuy.com

Using Akamai but no Secondary DNS provider. Good speed in the US and Europe. Low speed in Australia, Brazil, and South Africa. For reference, bestbuy.com.mx also doesn’t have good speed in Brazil.

26. Amazon.es

The Spanish domain of Amazon also has good global speed – 69.31ms and again uses two Managed DNS providers – UltraDNS and Dyn.

27. Sahibinden.com

The most prominent Turkish online store. They are using five nameservers, and 1 of them is not responding. Terrible global speed – 631.28 and no DNS providers (we checked the website few times, and the servers were not responding, and the speed was over 500ms each time).

28. Flipkart.com

The Indian e-commerce giant. They use Neustar. Excellent average speed. No Secondary DNS.

29. Ikea.com

The Scandinavian furniture manufacturer uses no DNS providers for its online shop. Good speed at our French POP and not so good globally.

30. Gearbest.com

A genuinely international website with traffic from all over the globe. Using Akamai, but the global speed is above 100ms. Highest response time in Brazil, which is interesting since according to Similarweb 18% of their traffic is coming from this country.

31. Mercadolibre.com.ar

Argentina’s most famous e-commerce store. No DNS providers, The speed is not good even in Brazil – above 100ms.

32. OLX.pl

Another Polish e-commerce site. They are using Amazon Route 53. Excellent speed in Europe. No Secondary DNS, no backup.

33. eBay-Kleinanzeigen.de

Good response according to our France POP, poor global speed – 176.19ms. No DNS provider is detected.

34. Mi.com

The international online portal of Xiaomi – the smartphone manufacturer. The average response time of the name servers is terrible – 367.21ms. They don’t use DNS providers, and respectively their bounce rate is high.

35. Amazon.ca

Good job also for Amazon.ca. Using two DNS providers again – Neustar and Dyn. The technical guys from Amazon understand the importance of using DNS provider. The last of the Amazon properties on our list and still none of them are using Route 53. Can we say according to this that the Dyn and Neustar DNS networks are better than the Route 53’s… Don’t know; we leave the presumptions to you.

36. OLX.ua

As the rest of the OLX properties, they are using Amazon Route 53. Excellent speed in Europe. No Secondary DNS, no backup.

37. Wish.com

Using the services of Amazon Route 53. Good overall global speed – 61.72ms, except South Africa – above 150ms.

38. HM.com

The international shopping site of the H&M brand. Good speed in EU and US, poor in Brazil and Singapore. Maybe they don’t rely so much on sales in South America and Asia. They are using Akamai, but no secondary DNS provider.

39. Mercadolibre.com.mx

Another site from the Argentinian giant. Hope this one performs better, let’s see. Good speed in the US, poor everywhere else, even in Brazil. Average response time is 143.79ms. No sign of DNS provider and backup DNS.

40. HomeDepot.com

Good speed in the US, which is good, since they are relying heavily on US consumers. Fear global speed – 102.44. If you look at the spreadsheet and the report you’ll see that they are also using Akamai.

41. Market.yandex.ru

The marketplace of Yandex – the Russian bear. They are using their DNS, which gives excellent speed in Europe, but very poor globally – 178.63ms. We’re guessing global presence is not essential for them. The bear won’t leave Russia with this speed.

42. Americanas.com.br

Good overall speed, except in South Africa, but with 99% of the traffic coming from Brazil, that is logical. Using Route 53 but unfortunately no Secondary DNS provider.

43. Alibaba.com

Like all tested so far Alibaba properties, Alibaba.com is not an exception. Poor global speed – 256.2ms, especially in Australia, South Africa, and Singapore. No Secondary DNS provider. Bounce rate is high respectively – 46.31%.

44. Sonymobile.com

The international platform of Sony Mobile is in 44th place. Using Route 53 but no backup DNS provider. Guess Sony didn’t learn the lessons from the frequent DDoS attacks they received on their PlayStation Network.

45. DMM.com

The Japan-based electronic commerce and Internet company is next. They are using ten name servers, 6 of which are from Akamai, but global speed is not high.

46. OLX.com.br

As the rest of the Argentinian classified giant OLX properties, com.br is also using Amazon Route 53. Good speed almost everywhere except South Africa. No backup DNS.

47. Macys.com

Macys are using Akamai also. Good speed in Europe and US, poor in Brazil. Average response time – 128.06ms. No secondary DNS.

48. Suning.com

Sunning is one of the largest retailers in China. Almost two years ago Alibaba bought shares in the company, so let’s see if they are using AliDNS or not. And the answer is no. Poor speed almost everywhere except Singapore. No primary and backup DNS provider, which corresponds to the highest bounce rate of all e-commerce websites so far – above 70%. That’s millions of dollars lost according to everybody’s calculations.

49. Kohls.com

As the rest of the websites using Akamai network, the site of the American department store retailing chain has good speed; only Brazil is lagging. But since 98% of their traffic is coming from the US they can live with it. The lack of back DNS is not good though.

50. Asos.com

The British online fashion and beauty store comes last in our report. They have lots of international traffic, only 25% of the traffic comes from the UK, the rest is all over the globe. They have eight name servers, using Dyn and Secondary DNS provider. Excellent global speed, except in South Africa.

Conclusion

According to our research majority of the big brands still didn’t learn the lesson from the 2016 Dyn DDoS attack, where huge sites were down for hours. 70% of the sites in this case study don’t have backup DNS. Not setting up a backup DNS or at least using a single DNS provider, leaves you open for DDoS attacks and respectively revenue losses. The question is not if it’ll happen but when.

Winner global top speed is Avito.ru with an average response time of 2.17ms.

The average amount of name servers per site is five, and the average DNS lookup speed of all 50 websites is 146.63ms.

We can draw a parallel between the response time of the websites and their bounce rate, as 89% of the sites with bounce rate above 40% had also lousy speed (see red fields in the spreadsheet).

And finally a recommendation for all other e-commerce sites – if you want to fight the big boys and win, you need to invest in your site speed and DNS. Make sure you are using not one but two DNS providers. You will be surprised at how little money you can get a good night’s sleep.

Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share.

2 Replies to “A case study of the top 50 e-commerce sites and their DNS”

  1. You comment that asos.com “would be better if they use Secondary DNS provider” whereas in fact asos does have a secondary DNS provider. Of the eight name servers, four our DynDNS and the other four are the secondary DNS provider.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*