February 13, 2013, 12:19 PM

Barnes & Noble tops a weekly mobile performance index

Sears, however, runs into some performance problems, Keynote says.

Lead Photo

The merchant's m-commerce site home page loaded on average in 4.80 seconds.

Barnes & Noble led the 30 retailers on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index for the week ending Feb. 10. The merchant’s m-commerce site home page loaded on average in 4.80 seconds and did so completely and successfully 99.78% of the time, says mobile and web performance management firm Keynote. Weighting and combining the load time and success rate earns the retailer an index score of 959 out of 1,000.

Amazon.com Inc. came in second with a load time of 6.48 seconds and a success rate of 99.78% for a score of 925. Toolfetch.com LLC came in third with a load time of a swift 2.82 seconds and a success rate of 99.36% for a score of 921. W.W. Grainger Inc. came in fourth with a load time of 3.85 seconds and a success rate of 99.46% for a score of 918. And Best Buy Co. Inc. came in fifth with a load time of 6.60 seconds and a success rate of 99.56% for a score of 882.

The top-ranking sites on the index offer optimized home pages that do not exceed 300 kilobytes; this minimizes the effects that unpredictable wireless networks can have on the loading of mobile web pages, says Abelardo Gonzalez, mobile performance expert at Keynote.

Sears Holdings Corp., however, ran into some problems last week with its mobile commerce site performance, Keynote says.

“Sears made a site change, cutting down the number of objects that make up its home page by half; however, the new page ended up being higher in overall size and exhibited poorer performance,” says Abelardo Gonzalez, mobile performance expert at Keynote. “Sears embedded images within the HTML of the site, reducing the total number of objects a mobile device has to download. However, some images were duplicated and the resulting page has a higher byte count than before and that negates any performance improvements reducing the number of objects would yield.”

Sears did not respond to a request for comment.

BarnesandNoble.com Inc. is No. 31 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400. Amazon.com is No. 1, Toolfetch.com is No. 248, Grainger is No. 76, Best Buy is No. 25 and Sears is No. 29.

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.

Keynote is ranked No. 2 among web performance monitoring firms in Internet Retailer’s Leading Vendors to the Top 1000 E-Retailers guide.

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