December 11, 2012, 3:20 PM

Target soars 14 spots on a weekly m-commerce site performance index

It fixed problems with site redirection and home page content, Keynote Systems says.

Lead Photo

The chain retailer's m-commerce site home page loaded on average in 7.85 seconds.

Target Corp. jumped 14 spots in the past week to No. 4 on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. For the week ending Dec. 9, its mobile commerce site home page loaded on average in 7.85 seconds and did so completely and successfully 99.89% of the time, finds mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc. Weighting and combining the load time and success rate gives Target an index score of 885 out of 1,000.

The week ending Dec. 2 told a different tale. Target’s m-commerce site home page load time was 11.02 seconds, its success rate was 98.88% and its score was 669, Keynote Systems says.

“For Target for the week ending Dec. 2, there were numerous page load failures caused by issues with redirection to the mobile site on the iPhone and numerous content-related errors on both the iPhone and Droid X,” says Haroon Chohan, mobile and web performance expert at Keynote Systems, which tests m-commerce sites on the iPhone 4, the HTC Evo and the Droid X. “Most of the content errors were caused by page objects that failed to load or took a significantly long time to load on the page. The issues were corrected for the week ending Dec. 9 and the site jumped up in the rankings.”

Target, No. 34 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, declined to comment on the specifics, but a spokesman says, "We constantly monitor the performance of our online and mobile platforms and work to address any issues that arise as quickly as possible."

It’s essential to test mobile commerce sites on multiple devices to avoid page load failures and content-related errors, Chohan advises.

“Because pages render differently on any given device and users may still be using older devices with older OS versions, this can cause site incompatibility,” he explains. “It’s important to test the functionality and availability of content across multiple devices, carriers and OS versions to ensure your mobile users have a consistent experience.”Amazon.com Inc. topped the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index for the week ending Dec. 9. Its m-commerce site home page load time was 6.57 seconds and its success rate was 99.89%, earning it an index score of 914. Barnes & Noble came in second with a load time of 4.92 seconds and a success rate of 99.68% for a score of 902. And The Home Depot Inc. came in third with a load time of 7.79 seconds and a success rate of 99.89% for a score of 886. Amazon.com is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, BarnesandNoble.com Inc. is No. 31 and Home Depot is No. 61.

The average load time for all 30 retailers on the index was 8.82 seconds, the average success rate was 99.21% and the average score was 710.

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 one another in overall quality. The index average score is the midpoint among all the sites’ scores.

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