April 16, 2009, 12:00 AM

Gomez expands performance testing to IE 8 and Safari 4 browsers

The new Internet Explorer 8 and Safari 4 web browsers add to about 500 browser and operating system combinations covered by Gomez on-demand web performance testing tools.

Gomez Inc. has added to the number of web browsers covered by its suite of on-demand web application experience management tools the recently released web browser Internet Explorer 8 and Safari 4 beta. Supporting the new browsers expands customers’ ability to test and preview how their sites render and perform in what are now about 500 combinations of browsers, operating systems and screen sizes covered, according to Gomez.

Consumers are viewing web sites through a growing number of different browsers, browser versions and operating systems, which means that the same web page may display differently depending on what combination the viewer is using to access the page. One issue with new browsers specifically is that they can pull in data from multiple sources faster, which can change the order in which individual page elements load on the page. The increased connectivity of new browsers also may swamp sites unprepared to handle higher data loads at peak times, Gomez says.

E-retailer eBags.com has been using technology from Gomez since last August to test more than 50 different browser and operating system combinations, according to Mike Frazzini, vice president of technology. He estimates that in terms of information technology staff time, the Gomez tool accounts for a greater than 50% cost savings. It also permits eBags to test more browser/operating system combinations than before, with those it now chooses to test representing about 98% of Internet users, he says.

Especially in this economy, Frazzini says, “We can’t afford to disappoint 20%, 10%, or even 3% of our customers. We know that visitors to eBags use a range of browsers and we can correlate their experiences to conversion rates. We use Gomez’s services to proactively protect our revenue and brand loyalty, and already we’ve witnessed a 10% conversion that can be attributed to this.” EBags is No. 90 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Peter Cobb, senior vice president, will speak at the Internet Retailer 2009 Conference & Exhibition in Boston in June in a session entitled “Rich media: Who needs it?”

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