May 1, 2013, 12:21 PM

Foot Locker’s mobile commerce site performance tanks

After a redesign, its site availability drops from 100% to 93.42%, Keynote reports.

Lead Photo

The chain retailer's m-commerce site home page takes 17.42 seconds to load.

In October 2012, Foot Locker Inc.’s mobile commerce site was in the No. 1 position on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index, with its home page loading on average in 10.00 seconds and doing so completely and successfully 100% of the time. For the week ending April 28, Foot Locker came in dead last on the 30-retailer index with a load time of 17.42 seconds and a success rate of an abysmal 93.42%, mobile and web performance management firm Keynote says.

What happened? An m-commerce site redesign that resulted in a mobile home page far heavier and more complex than its predecessor, Keynote says.

“The newly designed site has double the number of page objects and triple the amount of kilobytes,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at Keynote. “Another factor that appears to be slowing down its mobile home page is that it now has multiple objects coming from third-party domains, and some of them have a much slower average load time compared with page objects hosted on the Foot Locker domain.”

Foot Locker does use a content delivery network to speed its page loads, but even with the help of a content delivery network the retailer’s mobile performance is still lacking in part because third-party content providers are not necessarily using a content delivery network, Ng says.

“We also noticed Foot Locker’s site availability, also known as success rate, fluctuated the most out of all the retailer sites on the Keynote index,” Ng says. “This means there could be back-end stability issues. Another common reason could be that they didn’t provide a maintenance message to end users when their site was undergoing routine scheduled maintenance.”

Foot Locker did not respond to a request for comment.

W.W. Grainger Inc. topped the index for the week ending April 28 with a load time of 4.14 seconds and a success rate of 99.45%. Weighting and then combining load time and success rate earned Grainger an index score of 951 out of 1,000. Barnes & Noble came in second with a load time of 4.75 seconds and a success rate of 99.57% for a score of 948. And Sears Holdings Corp. came in third with a load time of 2.02 seconds and a success rate of 98.79%.

Foot Locker is No. 23 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, Grainger is No. 76, BarnesandNoble.com Inc. is No. 31 and Sears is No. 29.

The index average load time was 8.73 seconds, the average success rate was 98.59% and the average score was 794.

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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