March 7, 2012, 3:20 PM takes home the gold with an extraordinarily light page

The e-retailer topped this week’s Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index.

Lead Photo

The merchant's m-commerce site home page loaded on average in 3.76 seconds.

It’s one thing to maintain lightweight mobile web pages to ensure speedy page load times. But 17 kilobytes total weight? That’s more than skinny.

But such is the case at LLC, which topped this week’s Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index with an average m-commerce site home page load time of 3.76 seconds and an average success rate—the percentage of the time a page loads completely and successfully—of 99.84% for an index score of 977 out of 1,000.

“ was able to outperform other retailers’ mobile commerce sites because it kept its mobile home page super lightweight, containing no more than four page elements at less than 17 kilobytes total,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc. “This is amazing considering some retailers’ sites include single page objects that alone are larger than that.”

The m-commerce site benefits from being straightforward and simple to use, says Andrew Brown, the merchant’s co-founder and CEO. “The HTML is clean with no unnecessary markup, and then there is a single Cascading Style Sheet file, along with a small script,” he explains. “There is also a small image.” A Cascading Style Sheet, or CSS, is an HTML feature that designers use to designate where elements appear on a page.

Sears Holdings Corp. came in second on the Keynote index with a load time of 2.82 seconds and a success rate of 99.20% for a score of 970. Inc. came in third with a load time of 5.23 seconds and a success rate of 99.08% for a score of 906. The index average load time was 8.97 seconds, the average success rate was 97.92% and the average score was 760.

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 Inc., Sears Holdings Corp. and Inc., to midsized retailers like Sunglass Hut and LLC. Keynote tests the sites in the index every hour Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. through midnight Eastern time, emulating four different smartphones on four different wireless networks: Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4 on AT&T, the HTC Evo on Sprint, the BlackBerry Curve on T-Mobile 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 Chicago, Dallas, 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.

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