January 19, 2012, 10:46 AM

CVS plummets on a weekly m-commerce site performance index

The merchant goes from No. 4 to No. 23, but plans to thwart future drops.

CVS/Caremark Corp., No. 92 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300, saw a move from No. 4 to No. 23 on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index last week, a shift the retailer wants to prevent from happening again.

CVS says the drop is because the m-commerce site is connected to the e-commerce site. When software patches and other maintenance must be done to the e-commerce site, it affects the m-commerce site performance, a CVS spokeswoman says.

“CVS/pharmacy’s site up-time and speed measurement includes this maintenance time as downtime for the site, which sometimes brings down the overall scores of different performance measurement tools, like Keynote's Index,” she says.CVS/pharmacy is working to change our downtime maintenance strategy so it doesn’t include downtime for maintenance. This will provide more accurate measurements from sites like Keynote and we expect to see increased measurement indexes for the average speed of CVS/pharmacy’s mobile site when downtime is not included.”

Sitting atop the index is Toolfetch.com LLC, No. 215 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300. The e-retailer had a load time of 5.11 seconds and a success rate of 99.57%, resulting in a move from No. 5 to No. 1 on the index.

Though pleased with the result, Andrew Brown, Toolfetch.com co-founder and CEO, wants to improve the load time. “I’d like to see the load time in the three-second range,” Brown says. “It’s always a work in progress.”

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 multiple categories and channels, and of multiple 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. Keynote 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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