December 15, 2010, 1:34 PM

Shake-up at the top in this week’s m-commerce site performance index

And one retailer shows how small degradations in performance can add up.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

StrandBooks.com's m-commerce site home page again topped the weekly Keynote performance index.

There is a shake-up at the top of this week’s Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index, which measures the load time and success rate of 15 representative mobile commerce sites.

StrandBooks.com remained in first place while Amazon.com Inc. jumped from fifth to second. And Walmart.com dropped from second to fifth. But two retailers pushed their way into the top five. Your Electronic Warehouse was up five spots to third place and Dell Inc. moved up two spots to fourth.

For the week ending Dec. 10, the m-commerce site home page of StrandBooks.com loaded on average in 2.47 seconds, doing so successfully 98.04% of the time, for an index score of 927 out of 1,000. Amazon.com’s mobile home page loaded in 5.63 seconds with a success rate of 98.41% for a score of 772. And Your Electronic Warehouse’s mobile home page loaded in 5.12 seconds, doing so successfully 98.09% of the time, for a score of 746.

The index average score was 581, with an average load time of 5.58 seconds and success rate of 97.42%. 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 Dec 10.

Another retailer, Foot Locker Inc., has been dropping down the index in recent months. This week it fell to last place with a score of 163.

“Foot Locker’s load time was the slowest among all the sites and its reliability rate was second from the bottom,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at Keynote Systems Inc. “We also noticed upon a deep dive into the data that over the last eight weeks there has been a small but consistently downward trend in terms of load time. Foot Locker’s mobile site load time average increased week over week over the last eight weeks 0.71%, 1.97% and 3.86% on the AT&T, Sprint and Verizon networks, respectively. However, the cumulative effect is that from eight weeks ago to today the overall load time of the site increased 5.85%, 17.58% and 37.24% on the same networks. This is a great example of why m-commerce sites should not ignore small amounts of week to week performance degradations, as this can often be an early indicator of larger performance issues brewing that over time lead to huge performance degradation. And it also drives home the reason it so critical to keep a sharp, ongoing, 24/7 eye on site performance through close and accurate monitoring of your mobile site from the end user’s perspective.”

Foot Locker could not immediately be reached for comment.

Keynote Systems measures the 15 representative m-commerce sites exclusively 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 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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