October 26, 2010, 4:31 PM

Barnes & Noble unseats Walmart.com as No. 1 in weekly mobile index

It was a volatile week on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index.

Lead Photo

The home page of the m-commerce site of Barnes & Noble downloaded on average in 4.65 seconds, doing so successfully 99.04% of the time.

Barnes & Noble took the top spot during a highly volatile week on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index, unseating Walmart.com, which for weeks reigned as No. 1.

For the week ending Oct. 22, the bookseller earned an index score of 959 out of 1,000, with its m-commerce site home page loading on average in 4.65 seconds, and doing so successfully 99.04% of the time. The mobile home page of Walmart.com, which earned a score of 873 and dropped four spots to No. 5 this week, loaded in 3.70 seconds with a success rate of 98.28%.

Rounding out the top five, Your Electronic Warehouse was at No. 2 with a score of 904; its mobile home page downloaded in 4.31 seconds and its success rate was 98.61%. At No. 3, Victoria’s Secret had a score of 888; its average load time was 5.43 seconds and its success rate was 98.76%. And Target Corp. came in at No. 4 with a score of 877; its average load time was 5.29 seconds and its success rate was 98.67%. Click here and select Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index to see complete results for all of the index’s 14 merchants for the week ending Oct 22.

The average score for the index this week is 769 out of 1,000, up only 3 points. The average m-commerce site home page load time was 5.7 seconds and the success rate was 98.08%. But the minor change in score belies what was a volatile week in the standings. Some merchants were up 6 to 8 points while others were down 9 to 11 points.

“The volatility mainly came from a big swing in success rate. One site’s success rate increased by 2.15% and moved from a below-average position to above the index average, while another site decreased by 2.36%, which changed its overall score ranking from a top-three position to a bottom-three,” says Herman Ng, performance evangelist at Keynote Systems. “A sudden drop in success rate could be caused by many things, most commonly a bad change in mobile page content or recent software/hardware modifications on the back end. Therefore, tracking all changes that might affect site quality is just as important as monitoring the mobile web site. Monitoring helps to pinpoint the exact thing, date and time that caused the issue.” That, he says, makes it easier to identify the changes that must be reversed to restore performance levels.

Keynote Systems measures the 14 representative m-commerce sites for Internet Retailer. The sites include merchants in various categories and channels, and of various sizes, ranging from such giants as Sears and Foot Locker Inc. to midsized retailers like Sunglass Hut and K&L Wine Merchants.

Keynote repeatedly tests the sites in the index Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. through midnight Eastern time, emulating three different smartphones on three different wireless networks: the iPhone on AT&T, the BlackBerry Curve on Sprint and the Droid (which uses the Android operating system) on Verizon. Keynote combines a site’s load time and success rate, equally weighted, into a single score. Given 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’s average score is the midpoint among all the sites’ scores.


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