November 17, 2011, 3:48 PM

For Dell, something’s amiss on T-Mobile

But T-Mobile performance problems didn’t keep Dell from jumping up on a weekly index.

Lead Photo

The e-retailer's site jumped seven spots on the weekly performance index despite problems on the T-Mobile wireless network.

Dell jumped seven positions to No. 9 on the latest edition of the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. It took on average 8.81 seconds for its m-commerce site home page to load and it loaded successfully 97.33% of the time. It earned a score of 858 out of 1,000 and beat the index average results considerably. But there was a small fly in the ointment that kept the computer maker and online merchant from scoring better.

“Although Dell’s page load times improved dramatically, Dell continues to struggle on T-Mobile. Average page load times on T-Mobile hit 35.36 seconds,” says Haroon Chohan, mobile performance expert at mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc. “Part of the reasoning for the poor page load times is the number of failures and content errors from the site on T-Mobile. It could very well be that the site is not optimized for BlackBerry devices, which we test on T-Mobile. Poor performance of the T-Mobile network itself could be contributing.”

Dell says its mobile commerce site is optimized for all smartphones, including BlackBerry, but would not comment further.

“It’s very important for companies with mobile sites to load test not only their web sites but their mobile sites as well, to ensure they can handle the increased traffic during the holiday shopping season,” Chohan says.

Sears topped the index for the week ending Nov. 13. Its load time was 3.55 seconds and its success rate was 97.95% for a score of 1,000. Toolfetch.com came in second with a load time of 4.86 seconds and a success rate of 97.43% for a score of 942. And Walgreens came in third with a load time of 6.01 seconds and a success rate of 97.45% for a score of 920.

The index average load time was 11.20 seconds, the average success rate was 95.60% and the average score was 704.

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 and Toolfetch.com LLC. Keynote tests the sites in the index every hour Monday through Sunday 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. It runs the tests in Chicago, Dallas, New York and San Francisco.

Keynote combines a site’s load time and success rate, equally weighted, into a single score. Given that 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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