January 4, 2011, 3:10 PM

Steady as she goes between the holidays for mobile site performance

Weekly index shows most retailers maintain performance levels as shopping mania dies off.

Lead Photo

The StrandBooks.com m-commerce site downloaded on average last week in 2.55 seconds.

For the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, after all the hubbub of holiday shopping died down, retailers generally were within two positions of where they were on last week’s Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. And the index average was up a smidge, showing a consistency in performance, which, as is usually the case in both m-commerce and e-commerce, can always be enhanced a bit more.

StrandBooks.com moved up one space to first with an average m-commerce site home page load time of a swift 2.55 seconds, loading successfully 98.64% of the time, as measured by mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc. It achieved an index score of 910 out of 1,000. Walmart.com came in second with an average load time of 3.46 seconds and a success rate of 98.92% for a score of 874. BarnesandNoble.com Inc. came in third with a load time of 4.13 seconds and a success rate of 99.19% for a score of 859.

Dell Inc. came in fourth with an average m-commerce site home page load time of 4.16 seconds, loading successfully 98.97% of the time, for a score of 821. And Your Electronic Warehouse came in fifth with an average load time of 4.23 seconds and a success rate of 98.45% for a score of 728.

The index average load time was 5.13 seconds with a success rate of 98.32% for a score of 627, up a modest 16 points from the previous week. Click here and select Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index to see complete results for all of the index’s 15 merchants for the week ending Dec 31.

One retailer on the index, Foot Locker Inc., has been having some problems. It was low on the list last week, coming in at 13th with an average load time of 8.15 seconds and a success rate of 98.17% for a score of 333. It did improve over the previous week, but there’s room for more improvement, especially in the area of load time, Keynote Systems says.

“This last week the Foot Locker mobile site improved and had a load time 2.23 seconds faster than the previous week and 1.63 percentage points higher reliability,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at Keynote Systems. “While Foot Locker’s mobile site has delivered relatively stable performance overall with no major service interruptions in the past few months, until Christmas week, its overall rankings have been consistently below the Keynote mobile commerce index average. The Foot Locker mobile site definitely has room for improvement to catch up with the mobile site quality of other similar retail mobile sites.”

Foot Locker could not immediately be reached for comment.

Keynote Systems measures the 15 representative m-commerce sites exclusively for Internet Retailer. The sites include merchants in various categories and channels, and of various sizes, ranging from such giants as Sears Holdings Corp. and Foot Locker 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: Apple Inc.’s iPhone on AT&T, the BlackBerry Curve on Sprint and the Droid (which uses Google Inc.’s 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 average score is the midpoint among all the sites’ scores.

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