June 7, 2011, 5:03 PM

Lowe’s nails the top spot on the weekly m-commerce site performance index

The merchant trimmed some kilobytes and improved load time and success rate.

Lead Photo

The merchant's m-commerce site home page downloaded on average in 6.05 seconds, 1.22 seconds better than last week.

In recent weeks, retailers on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index, including J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Buy.com Inc., have been decreasing the weight of their m-commerce site home pages, trimming kilobytes here and there, to end up with sites that load faster and more successfully. This week it’s the turn of Lowe’s Co. Inc..

For the first time, Lowe’s, No. 91 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, took the No. 1 spot, pushing aside such top-performing regulars as Walmart.com and Walgreen Co. Two months ago Lowe’s was in the ninth position. This week its m-commerce site home page downloaded on average in 6.05 seconds and did so successfully 99.30% of the time. Compared with the previous week, Lowe’s shaved off 1.22 seconds in load time and increased success rate by 0.52 percentage points. Lowe’s earned an index score of 994 out of 1,000.

“Lowe’s reduced its mobile page size by an average of 12 to 15 kilobytes,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc. “This reduction appears to have improved its page load time across all four wireless carriers tested. Back in late April Lowe’s slowest average load time over the T-Mobile network was as high as 23 seconds; while last week Lowe’s mobile site loaded as fast as 9.4 seconds over the same network, an improvement of nearly 60%.”

Lowe’s declined to comment on the results.

Coming in at No. 2 after Lowe’s was Walmart.com, which earned a score of 988. Its mobile home page downloaded on average in 5.88 seconds and did so successfully 99.17% of the time. Staples Inc. came in at No. 3 with a score of 984, a load time of 6.32 seconds and a success rate of 99.30%.

The average score for all 30 retailers on the index was 805. The average m-commerce site home page download time was 9.09 seconds and the success rate was 98.36%.

Click here and then click on Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index Part 1 and Part 2 to see this week’s complete results for all 30 retailers on the index.

Keynote Systems measures 30 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 Amazon.com Inc., Sears Holdings Corp. and 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., to midsized retailers like Sunglass Hut, Toolfetch.com LLC and Your Electronic Warehouse. Keynote tests the sites in the index every hour Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. through midnight Eastern time, emulating four different smartphones on four different wireless networks: Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4 on AT&T, the HTC Evo on Sprint, the BlackBerry Curve on T-Mobile and the Droid X on Verizon. The HTC Evo and the Droid X run Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

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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