April 11, 2012, 2:58 PM

Office Depot supplies exemplary mobile performance

The merchant’s m-commerce site home page loads in 4.42 seconds.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Office Depot Inc. took the top spot on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index for the week ending April 8 on the strength of an m-commerce site home page that totaled only 20 kilobytes. This is coming off of strong performance for the week ending April 1, when the retailer greatly improved the rate at which the page loaded completely and successfully, powering its ranking from No. 22 to No. 2.

For the week ending April 8, the mobile home page of Office Depot had a load time of 4.42 seconds and a success rate of 99.79% for an index score of 965 out of 1,000.

“Office Depot took the top place in this week’s index primarily on the strength of slightly better availability,” says Ken Harker, director of web and mobile performance at Keynote Systems Inc. “For smartphones, Office Depot’s home page contains one redirection, one base page HTML document, and four or five images at most. Overall, page weight is very restrained at under 20 kilobytes. As a result, the Office Depot home page was one of only four sites in this week’s index to load in under five seconds on average across the four major mobile carriers.”

A redirection is a process in which one URL, OfficeDepot.com, for example, leads to another, m.OfficeDepot.com. A base page HTML document is a file that dictates where content falls on a page.

Office Depot, No. 53 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300, has done a great job optimizing its site for the fluctuating conditions of the wireless carrier networks by limiting the number of round trips necessary between the mobile web browser and the retailer’s web servers, Harker adds.

Sears Holdings Corp. came in second with a load time of 3.09 seconds and a success rate of 99.36% for a score of 961. The Home Depot Inc. came in third with a load time of 6.13 seconds and a success rate of 99.92% for a score of 941.

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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