February 2, 2011, 12:57 PM

Mobile retailers, don’t let objects get in the way of your shopping subjects

One tiny little graphic or feature can drag down your entire mobile site.

Ensuring fast performance of an e-commerce site is tough. Doing the same for an m-commerce site is even tougher. First, you’ve got more variables—several mobile operating systems, wireless carriers, mobile devices, 3G and 4G networks, geographic locations—you get the picture. Then you’ve got the basic fact that mobile sites simply haven’t been around as long.

 And so, when I see any tidbit that mobile site operators may want to think about when designing and monitoring an m-commerce site, I like to share. So, here’s my nugget of wisdom for today: Pay attention to each object on your site—especially if you have individual objects hosted on different servers from the base page of the site.

Take Victoria's Secret's mobile site measurement data as an example. Its mobile site takes between five and 10 seconds to load, on average, downloading a total of 13 page elements, according to a recent analysis by web and mobile web measurement firm Keynote Systems. When one of the objects on the page became unresponsive—in this case an image object hosted on different server—the overall page load time slowed to a snail’s pace, leading to a final page load time of more than 50 seconds (500% higher than average). Other than this one bad object, all other page objects downloaded within 10 seconds, Keynote Systems says.

Much like outside content on an e-commerce, site such as a site search, rating and reviews or personalization program provided by a vendor, m-commerce site operators need to pay careful attention to the performance of each element coming from each and every server to make sure it loads fast and functions as intended.

Shoppers want to be able to search, read ratings and reviews and view additional images on an e-commerce site, and they want to be able to do the same on a mobile site.

So don’t forget those objects. You have them on your mobile site for a reason, so make sure they load, and load fast. Because web shoppers don’t like to wait, and mobile shoppers on the go hate waiting even more.

 

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