February 28, 2012, 2:49 PM

J.C. Penney’s light site makes for consistent mobile performance

Its m-commerce site home page loads on average in 5.04 seconds, Keynote finds.

Lead Photo

The retailer's m-commerce site home page loaded completely and successfully 99.61% of the time.

When it comes to m-commerce site performance, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. is quite consistent. The chain retailer has placed in the top five for four weeks in a row. This is because it’s keeping the number of page elements and the page weight in kilobytes low, says mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc.

“For smartphones, J.C. Penney’s mobile home page contains one HTML base page, 10 page elements and five embedded images as part of its HTML base page,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at Keynote Systems. “For feature phones, J.C. Penney’s mobile home page contains one HTML base page and 11 elements. The data show that J.C. Penney’s mobile page can be accessed and downloaded by both smartphones and feature phones efficiently because it takes less than 12 page elements and no more than 100 kilobytes on average to download the entire page.”

An HTML base page is a foundational mobile web page that directs the layout of the page. A page element is an object on a page, such as a box of text or an image.

J.C. Penney came in third on the index for the week ended Feb. 26 with a score of 947 out of 1,000. It took on average 5.04 seconds for its m-commerce site home page to travel from server to device and load. And the page completely and successfully loaded 99.61% of the time.

Sears Holdings Corp. came in first with a load time of a swift 2.96 seconds and a success rate of 99.72% for a score of 1,000. And CVS Caremark Corp. came in second with a load time of 3.24 seconds and a success rate of 99.22% for a score of 967.

The index average load time was 8.66 seconds, the average success rate was 96.54% and the average score was 703.

J.C. Penney is No. 26 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300. Sears is No. 21 and CVS is No. 92.

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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