February 2, 2010, 12:00 AM

M-commerce site performance lagging behind e-commerce, study shows

The time it took to download the home page of 10 mobile commerce sites this holiday season ranged from 8.3 seconds to 34.4 seconds, Keynote Systems says. The overall range of availability was between 97.6% and 74.7%.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

 

The time it took to download the home page of 10 mobile commerce sites this holiday season ranged from 8.3 seconds to 34.4 seconds; it took 4.5 seconds to 37.9 seconds to view search results pages and 5.7 seconds to 26.8 seconds for product information pages, according to a new study by Keynote Systems Inc., a web and mobile web testing and measurement company.

The overall range of availability was between 97.6% and 74.7%. Consumers who connect to the Internet via a computer expect 99.5% or better availability, Keynote says, so even the very best mobile web sites are not fully meeting expectations. In fact, the Keynote study showed only two m-commerce sites achieving availability better than 90%, while three sites were below 80%.

“Shopping on mobile web sites still has a lot of catching up to do in both download performance and uptime when compared to the performance of [computer-] connected web sites,” says Ben Rushlo, senior manager of Internet technologies at Keynote. “Consumers on the wired web are used to much, much faster times, and often expect pages to load in two seconds or less. Even the best mobile web sites take two to three times as long as that despite being optimized heavily for the mobile phone experience, and the worst sites are taking over a half a minute on average to load each page.”

Using Keynote Mobile Application Perspective technology, the company measured the performance of 10 m-commerce sites between Nov. 18 and Jan. 4. The 10 sites included in the study were from Amazon.com Inc., Barnes & Noble, Best Buy Co. Inc., Costco Corp., Dell Inc., Foot Locker, Musician’s Friend Inc., Sears Holdings Corp., Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Measurements were taken in New York and San Francisco using AT&T;, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon wireless data connections.

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