Micro Focus subsidiary Borland used its Silk Performer technology to correlate traffic and response times at retail web sites during the post-Christmas to New Year period.
The company says Woolworths, Big W and JB Hi-Fi all saw poor response times on peak days during the period.
Woolworths' home page response exceeded 10 seconds on New Year's Eve, Borland officials claimed.
According to Borland's research, a one-second delay in response time reduces page views by 11%, customer satisfaction by 16%, and conversions by 7%.
“It looks like a number of the sites monitored over the seasonal period will have missed out on potential revenue as a result of their website’s inability to process high levels of traffic," said Jeff Findlay, Borland Architect - APJ, at Micro Focus.
"Developing a robust performance strategy takes time, and peak period preparation should begin early with testing starting about six months beforehand. Putting in this groundwork is crucial if retailers are to take full advantage of peak shopping times throughout the year."
It is not inevitable that traffic spikes result in poor response times. Borland officials noted that while eBay Australia received significant spikes during the period, the variation in response time was minimal.