October 10, 2012, 12:00 PM

Mobile site performance soars for Sears

While Newegg’s mobile site slows with a heavy new homepage.

Lead Photo

The mobile site for Sears Holdings Corp. shot up 11 slots from No. 16 to No. 5 in this week’s Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. The site loaded in an impressive 4.11 seconds on average and the mobile home page loaded successfully 99.57% of the time.

The mobile site for Newegg, however, didn’t fare so well. The site, which relaunched this week, experienced some performance issues, says Abelardo Gonzalez, mobile performance expert with Keynote Systems Inc., an Internet and mobile performance monitoring company.

"Newegg dropped considerably in this week’s Keynote mobile commerce index rankings as they were hampered by a site redesign that considerably increased the number of objects (on the home page) and page size, " Gonzalez says. “The Newegg site is downloading close to one megabyte worth of data, which has slowed its performance across all carrier networks.” Sears is No. 29 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, Newegg is No. 45.

Gonzalez says that consolidating the use of Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, files and JavaScripts into one file can help speed mobile page load times.  However, Newegg’s mobile site home page is using more than 10 separate JavaScript and CSS files. CSS is a mark-up language used to define pages and denote where elements appear on a page.

Newegg says it plans to work on its mobile site speed. "Our priority has been focused on preparing to launch our new mobile site," a spokeswoman says. "Now that it has launched, we are working towards optimizing its performance going forward."

Buy.com topped the index for the week ended Oct. 7 with a load time of 3.65 seconds and a home page load success rate of 99.78% for a score of 989. Amazon.com came in second with a load time of 4.65 seconds and a success rate of 99.78% for a score of 978. And Office Depot came in third with a load time of 3.44 seconds and a success rate of 99.68% for a score of 977.

The average load time for all 30 retailers on the index last week was 7.97 seconds, the average success rate 99.04% and the average score 837.

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. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, Toolfetch.com is No. 248. 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 one another in overall quality. The index average score is the midpoint among all the sites’ scores.

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