November 3, 2010, 11:31 AM

StrandBooks.com soars from bottom to top of weekly mobile index

The retailer’s m-commerce site home page downloaded in a speedy 2.54 seconds.

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Last week the m-commerce site home page of StrandBooks downloaded in 2.54 seconds with a success rate of 98.37%.

During the week ending Oct. 22, the m-commerce site home page of StrandBooks.com downloaded on average in 3.52 seconds and did so successfully only 95.89% of the time, according to the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. Last week, however, it downloaded in a swift 2.54 seconds with a success rate of 98.37%, sending the retailer from last place the week before to first place on the weekly index, provided exclusively to Internet Retailer by mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc.

StrandBooks.com’s performance earned it an index score of 984 out of 1,000, up 484 points in one week. The retailer could not immediately be reached for comment, but Keynote Systems has observed improvements that pushed the retailer’s score up.

“Two weeks ago Keynote noticed a consistent daily pattern of web server latency and intermittent site errors. Since then Keynote’s mobile monitoring data shows that the erroneous pattern has vanished, giving the StrandBooks.com mobile site a 98.37% reliability rating,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at Keynote Systems. “The fast load time is the other factor in their very speedy download time of 2.54 seconds. This is amazing performance for a wireless connection. They achieved this by having efficient mobile web design—four objects on a smartphone-specific page and only one object for a non-smartphone page. Using a small number of objects means fewer requests to the web server and therefore less likelihood of encountering object latency. Although this strategy might not be suitable for all m-commerce sites, it is definitely one worth considering.”

Your Electronic Warehouse came in second on the weekly index with a score of 845; the multi-brand retailer’s electronics m-commerce site home page downloaded on average in 4.30 seconds and did so successfully 98.52% of the time. Walmart.com came in third at 820, downloading in 3.91 seconds with a success rate of 97.83%. Barnes and Noble came in fourth at 736, downloading in 4.79 seconds with a success rate of 97.73%.

Amazon.com Inc. made its debut on the index this week. Amazon came in fifth place with a score of 684. Its mobile home page downloaded on average in 5.79 seconds with a success rate of 98.12%. Click here and select Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index to see complete results for all of the index’s 15 merchants for the week ending Oct 29.

The index average score is 636, with an average home page download time of 5.47 seconds and a success rate of 97.23%.

Keynote Systems measures the 15 representative m-commerce sites for Internet Retailer. The sites include merchants in various categories and channels, and of various sizes, ranging from such giants as Sears and Foot Locker Inc. to midsized retailers like Sunglass Hut and K&L Wine Merchants.

Keynote repeatedly tests the sites in the index Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. through midnight Eastern time, emulating three different smartphones on three different wireless networks: the iPhone on AT&T, the BlackBerry Curve on Sprint and the Droid (which uses the Android operating system) on Verizon. Keynote combines a site’s load time and success rate, equally weighted, into a single score. Given both performance and availability are important, the score reflects the overall quality of the home page. A higher score indicates better performance; scores also reflect how close sites are to each other in overall quality. The index’s average score is the midpoint among all the sites’ scores.

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