November 16, 2010, 12:15 PM

Barnes & Noble and Amazon break into top 5 mobile performers, index shows

But StrandBooks.com again is tops in m-commerce site performance.

Lead Photo

Amazon’s m-commerce home page download success rate was 98.96%, the best on this week’s index.

Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com Inc. nudged their way into the top 5 performers in this week’s Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index, provided exclusively to Internet Retailer by mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc.

Barnes & Noble placed fourth with a score of 758, its m-commerce site home page downloading on average in 4.39 seconds and doing so successfully 98.17% of the time. Amazon.com came in fifth with a score of 743, its mobile home page load time at 5.33 seconds with a success rate of 98.96%, the best success rate this week.

StrandBooks.com again came in first with a score this week of 891, with an average download time of 2.63 seconds and a success rate of 97.79%. Walmart.com moved up one slot to second place with a score of 788, its m-commerce site home page load time hitting 3.62 seconds with a success rate of 97.70%. And Sears Holdings Corp. fell one spot to third place with a score of 774, it average load time being 4.39 seconds with a success rate of 98.33%.

The average score for all 15 retailers in the index was 639, up 51 points from last week. The average download time was 5.28 seconds with a success rate of 97.80%. 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 Nov. 12.

Overall, Keynote Systems stresses that to ensure top performance, retailers with m-commerce sites must offer both optimal load times and success rates, not one or the other.

“Keynote combines each mobile site’s performance and availability into a single score, equally weighted. Given that both uptime and performance are important, the score reflects the overall quality of the site and the page. When a site beats out its peers in both load time speed and success rate metrics, it will have the top overall score and most likely be above 900,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at Keynote. “However, when a top site is better than its peers on one metric, but loses to other sites substantially on the other metric, then it’s overall score will be relatively lower. As shown in this week’s data, although StrandBooks.com had the top score with the fastest performance, it’s success rate actually ranked in ninth place. Therefore, its overall score is lower than it would be if it was the top-performing site on both metrics. This reinforces once again that maintaining a top quality site is a multi-dimensional task.”

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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