April 8, 2014, 5:47 PM

Toolfetch.com keeps things light and fast for perfect performance

"Toolfetch does everything right for maximum mobile performance,” Keynote says. Also, the mobile commerce web site home pages of the top three retailers on the weekly 30-retailer Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index all loaded correctly 100% of the time, a rare feat, Keynote says.

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Toolfetch.com LLC last week achieved a perfect mobile test score. The web and mobile retailer achieved the highest possible score of 1,000 on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. Its mobile site loaded successfully 100% of the time for the week ending April 6, and loaded on average in less than one second—0.92 seconds to be exact, says Herman Ng, mobile evangelist at Keynote. Those stats helped it nab the No. 1 position on the index of 30 retailers. Keynote weights and then combines load time and success rate (also known as site availability) to reach a score.

“Toolfetch.com has done a commendable job consistently keeping its mobile page super lightweight, with only 62 kilobytes on average,” Ng says. “There are only a total of six page objects, only two of which require a separate network download by the browser. The other four are image objects embedded inside the HTML base page, all together requiring only one network download. Toolfetch does everything right for maximum mobile performance.”

Sears Holdings Corp. came in second on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index for the week ending April 6. Its load time was 1.05 seconds and its success rate was 100% for a score of 993. Its mobile home page contains seven elements weighing 66 kilobytes. W.W. Grainger Inc. came in third with a load time of 1.13 seconds; it also achieved a perfect success rate of 100% for a score of 985. Its mobile home page contains seven elements weighing 83 kilobytes.

Two of the 30 retailers on the index offer responsive web design sites, which use a single code base and responsive techniques to adapt a site to the size of the device the consumer is using. This saves a retailer having to build separate sites for desktops, tablets, smartphones and other devices, and delivers content from a single URL, which tends to strengthen search engine rankings. But the chief complaint about responsive design sites is slow load times, and that is the case with the two responsive sites on the Keynote index.

Fab.com, one of the two responsive sites, came in at No. 18 with a load time of 6.98 seconds and a success rate of 99.81% for a score of 634. Its mobile site home page weighed a heavy 1,781 kilobytes and contained 72 elements. Fathead.com LLC, the other responsive site, came in at No. 29 with a load time of 8.80 seconds and a success rate of 99.59% for a score of 424. Its mobile site home page weighed a hefty 2,264 kilobytes and contained 110 elements. Keynote advises retailers wanting optimal performance to limit mobile page elements to 10 or 12 and limit page weight to 100 kilobytes or less.

The average load time for all 30 retailers on the index for the week ending April 6 was 4.34 seconds, the average success rate was 99.41% and the average score was 477.

Click here then click on Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index Part 1 and Part 2 to view complete results for all 30 retailers on the index. Keynote measures, exclusively for Internet Retailer, 30 standalone m-commerce sites optimized for smartphones and two responsive design sites, which are single sites that render content in ways that fit the screen size of a device, including desktop PCs, tablets, smartphones and smart TVs. For the index, Keynote measures the smartphone versions of the responsive sites.

The 30 representative sites include merchants in multiple categories and channels, and of multiple sizes, ranging from such giants as Amazon.com Inc. to mid-sized retailers like Toolfetch.com. Keynote tests the sites in the index every hour Monday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. through midnight EDT, emulating two different smartphones on two different wireless networks: Apple Inc.’s iPhone 5 on AT&T and the Samsung Galaxy SIII on T-Mobile, both using 4G networks. 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. To consistently rank high on the Keynote index, sites must hit availability targets of 99.5% or better and be faster than 10 seconds to load on average. Top-performing sites load in under five seconds.

While adoption among U.S. consumers has been steadily rising, only a fraction of all U.S. wireless connections are 4G. Consequently, retailers benchmarking their mobile commerce site performance against the Keynote index should keep in mind that most of their m-commerce site shoppers will experience page load times slower than those on the index.

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