August 3, 2005, 12:00 AM

Sharper Image sharpens its focus on performance testing

For the second consecutive year, The Sharper Image is troubleshooting site performance problems before the holidays hit.

With the web now generating more than 15% of its annual sales, The Sharper Image isn`t taking any chances with site performance problems this holiday shopping season.

During an upcoming week-long test, Sharper Image and Empirix Inc., a web performance monitoring company, will use a hosted test application and measure specific objectives, including how fast it takes the home page to load, the length of time it takes to conduct a product search and how fast it takes to execute an e-commerce transaction. To gauge site performance at different traffic levels, the test will also include varying Internet connection speeds, geographic distributions and browser types that simulate visitor traffic.

For instance, the test will set simulated site traffic at various levels to measure how fast it takes a typical user to open the Sharper Image home page or use the search box to find a product.

Sharper Image will then use the results to make adjustments to its e-commerce platform, web applications, server network and back-end data bases prior to the holidays.

Sharper Image, No. 63 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, is using Empirix`s e-LoadExpert Hosted Load Testing Service, which starts at $25,000, for the test which is expected to take place within the next month, says Empirix.

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