June 21, 2011, 12:48 PM

Page size reduction computes well for Dell, mobile performance index shows

The move by Dell bumped it six spots up the index to No. 1.

Lead Photo

The merchant's m-commerce site home page downloaded on average last week in 5.18 seconds.

It’s impressive what 24 fewer kilobytes can do for mobile commerce site performance. That’s how much weight Dell Inc. shaved off its home page last week—from 52 kilobytes to 28—which improved the time it took to download its home page by 2.74 seconds. It mobile home page downloaded on average in 5.18 seconds and did so successfully 99.06% of the time, earning it a score of 979 out of 1,000 and the top berth on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index.

“Dell achieved this performance improvement by reducing both the number of objects and page size of its mobile site,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc. An object is an item on a web page like an image or a text box. “The average page size for the site was reduced by 46%.”

The move by Dell follows a trend of retailers on the index shedding page weight to improve site performance. In recent weeks, Buy.com Inc., J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. Inc. all trimmed kilobytes from their m-commerce site home pages and decreased average page load times.

Dell, No. 4 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, did not respond to a request for comment.

Lowe’s followed Dell on the index, coming in at No. 2 with a score of 951. Its average download time was 6.25 seconds and average success rate was 99.18%. Walgreen Co. came in at No. 3 with a score of 922. Its load time was 7.20 seconds and its success rate was 99.26%. The index average score was 712. The average download time for all 30 retailers on the index was 9.86 seconds and the success rate was 98.22%.

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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