July 18, 2012, 10:06 AM

Amazon jumps nine positions on mobile index

Minimal page objects and better wireless performance boost the e-retailer.

Lead Photo

The e-retailer's m-commerce site home page loaded on average in 4.57 seconds.

Amazon.com Inc. jumped nine spots from No. 16 to No. 7 on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index for the week ending July 15. It achieved greater performance by keeping the number of elements on its mobile commerce site home page to a minimum and through improvements in performance by wireless carriers, a factor retailers cannot control.

The e-retailer’s m-commerce site home page loaded on average in 4.57 seconds, down from 4.93 seconds the week before. The page loaded completely and successfully 99.49% of the time, up from 98.52% the week before. The weighted and combined load time and success rate earned Amazon an index score of 864 out of 1,000.

“The average number of elements loading on the home page was 11 to 12, which is tolerable. Ideally the number of objects should be limited to 10 or fewer for optimal performance,” says Haroon Chohan, mobile and web performance expert at Keynote Systems Inc. “The fewer objects loading on the page means fewer HTTP server requests for data. Fewer HTTP server requests adds up to faster page loads.”

For the week ending July 8, Amazon suffered from poor wireless network performance by AT&T and Sprint, Keynote finds. The primary tactic a retailer can use to combat wireless network performance issues is maintaining a slim site, Keynote says.

Amazon.com, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300, did not respond to a request for comment.

Office Depot Inc. topped the index with a load time of a swift 2.74 seconds and a success rate of 99.58% for a score of 948. Sears Holdings Corp. came in second with a load time of 3.79 seconds and a success rate of 99.79% for a score of 944. And Barnes & Noble came in third with a load time of 5.07 seconds and a success rate of 99.90% for a score of 914.

The average load time for all 30 retailers on the index was 7.46 seconds, the average success rate was 99.11% and the average score was 693.

Office Depot is No. 53 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300. Sears is No. 21 and Barnes & Noble is No. 27.

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. to midsized retailers like 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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