June 20, 2012, 1:31 PM

Buy.com celebrates its highest ranking ever in mobile site performance index

The retailer’s mobile site loads in 4.32 seconds and loads successfully 99.20% of the time.

Buy.com has reason to celebrate. Along with its 15th anniversary this month, the retailer’s mobile site posted its best performance ever in the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index.

Buy.com’s mobile site ranked second in the weekly performance ranking of 30 m-commerce sites, behind HSN.com, loading in an average of 4.32 seconds and loading successfully 99.17% of the time for an average score of 935 out of a possible 1000.

Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at Keynote Systems, says Buy.com takes steps to ensure its mobile site loads quickly.

 

 

"It takes only one request for a mobile browser to go from Buy.com’s main URL to the mobile base page,” Ng says. “Within both of these base pages, Buy.com embedded additional JavaScript code which seems to be how it minimizes excessive JavaScript objects. On the entire mobile page, there is one JavaScript object and one CSS object. Other than the base pages there are a total of 10 page objects which makes the mobile home page of Buy.com very lean.” CSS stands for cascading style sheets, software that dictates where elements will appear on a web page.

He adds that Buy.com uses CSS sprites to combine multiple navigation icon images.

CSS sprites consolidate many images into a single file so that a smartphone accessing Buy.com’s mobile home page has fewer files to load and thus makes fewer page requests. This makes it much quicker to send data from a web server to a smartphone to build a page.

Buy.com also utilizes a content delivery network to speed the delivery of image objects to mobile devices, Ng says. Content delivery networks store web page content on servers located around the world, and thus can deliver content from servers geographically close to the consumer, making web pages load more quickly. 

Additionally, Buy.com’s mobile site does not skimp on functionality. Its mobile home page contains many useful tools and page elements such as Search, Browse, Deal, Deal of the Day, Shopping Cart, a link to download Buy’s Mobile App and an option to access the Full Site, Ng says.

HSN came in first for the week ending June 17 with a load time of 4.16 seconds and a success rate of 99.20% for a score of 943. The average load time for all 30 retailers on the index was 7.04 seconds, the average success rate was 97.76% and the average score was 724.

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 Walmart.com, 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 three different smartphones on three different wireless networks: Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4 on AT&T, the HTC Evo on Sprint 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 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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