July 27, 2011, 9:15 AM

For m-commerce, a simple design can lead to better performance

An MCF 2011 speaker gives tips about how to improve mobile sites.

Lead Photo

Andrew Brown

Web performance, whether it’s the time it takes for a page to load or how often a site goes down, is just as important for m-commerce as it is for e-commerce, says Andrew Brown, co-founder and CEO of ToolFetch.com.

Brown will speak at the Mobile Commerce Forum 2011 in Houston Oct. 12 from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in a session entitled “How To Get The Best Performance Out of Your Mobile Site.” He says ToolFetch.com improves the performance of its m-commerce site by keeping the design simple and the functionality straightforward.

“We’ve learned what to change to avoid any drag time,” says Brown. ToolFetch.com, No. 393 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, launched mobile commerce in early 2010. Over time Brown has worked to improve the performance of its m-commerce site by eliminating unnecessary coding, keeping the design straightforward, and avoiding adding too many advanced features.

“At one point we had a live chat feature on the mobile site but we later took it down because it was impacting how fast the site was loading,” says Brown. “We’ve learned to keep the design and site features very focused.”

Continually benchmarking how a mobile commerce site compares against competing retailers and against the online retailing industry as a whole is a practice Brown believes other web merchants should follow. At ToolFetch.com, which generated web sales of about $21 million in 2010, Brown uses the mobile commerce performance index featuring data from Keynote Systems Inc. and published each week on InternetRetailer.com. “It’s always important to see where you fall,” says Brown.

Internet Retailer’s  editors asked Brown to speak because he takes a hands-on approach to running an m-commerce and e-commerce operation. Brown launched Toolfetch.com in 2002 and has since expanded the business to offer some 200,000 products to eight different industries.

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