January 25, 2011, 4:11 PM

ToolFetch needs a mobile tune-up, while Victoria’s Secret reveals an improved mobile site

Victoria’s Secret moved up three spots in this week’s Keynote Index.

Lead Photo

The lingerie retailer's mobile site moved from No.10 to No. 7 in this week's mobile commerce performance index.

Victoria’s Secret found the secret to a more solid-performing mobile site for the week ending Jan. 21. Its m-commerce site home page loaded on average in 6.19 seconds doing so successfully 98.67% of the time for a score of 631 in the weekly Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. That was enough to move the lingerie and sleepwear retailer’s performance ranking from No. 10 to No. 7  

StrandBooks meanwhile is becoming somewhat of a mainstay at the top of the index. It ranked first for the fourth week in a row in the index with an average load time of 2.86 seconds and loading successfully 98.07% of the time for a score of 876.

One retailer that didn’t fare so well was ToolFetch. Its mobile site fell five spots from last week to No. 14, loading on average in 5.44 seconds and doing so successfully 96.35% of the time for a score of 291.

“Victoria's Secret's mobile site load time decreased by 0.22 seconds and improved its reliability by 0.43%, “ says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at Keynote Systems. “Although these may not seem like significant improvements at first glance, in the competitive and fluid world of mobile commerce, that is enough to make a difference.”

He adds that sometimes, paying attention to overall load time and reliability may not be enough to assure peak performance. Monitoring each object of the site is equally important, Ng says, especially if individual objects are hosted on different domains from the base page of the site.

Take Victoria's Secret's measurement data as an example. Its mobile site takes between 5-10 seconds to load, on average, downloading a total of 13 page elements, Ng says. When one of the objects on the page became unresponsive -- in this case an image object from a different domain, still under Victoria's Secret domain, but hosted on different server--the overall page load time got dragged down, leading to a final page load time of more than 50 seconds (500% higher than average). Other than this one bad object all other page objects were successfully downloaded within 10 seconds, Ng says. 

“The difference in performance between a good and bad object could be the difference between a positive and negative experience for the end user,” Ng says.

The index average for the week was 582, down 10 points from last week. The average load time  was 5.36 seconds and the sites measured loaded successfully on average 97.91% of the time. Click here then click on Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index to see the results for all 15 retailers.

Keynote Systems measures 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 Holdings Corp. 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: Apple Inc.’s iPhone on AT&T, the BlackBerry Curve on Sprint and the Droid (which uses Google Inc.’s 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 average score is the midpoint among all the sites’ scores.

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