May 15, 2012, 12:09 PM

Office Depot shows the greatest improvement among retailers on performance index

The merchant fixed a page delivery error from a previous week, Keynote finds.

For the week ending May 13, Office Depot Inc. jumped seven spots up the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index—from No. 11 to No. 4—on the strength of a vastly improved success rate, the percentage of the time a page loads completely and successfully. Its m-commerce site home page loaded successfully on average 98.55% of the time compared with 95.9% for the week ending May 6.

Smartphone requests for the m-commerce site home page returned an HTTP 500 error page between 10 p.m. Eastern time May 5 and 4:30 a.m. Eastern time May 6. An HTTP 500 error means the requested web resource is not available.

“The site may have been down for regular maintenance,” says Haroon Chohan, mobile performance expert at Keynote Systems Inc. “If a site is going to be down for maintenance, it’s generally a good idea to redirect to a page that lets users know the site is down for maintenance so they do not encounter an error page.”

Office Depot confirms it was scheduled maintenance that caused the downtime.

"Our e-commerce site has a placeholder page indicating when the site is down for maintenance, and we are currently working on one for our m-commerce site, which we hope to have ready in the near future," an Office Depot spokeswoman says.

For the week ending May 13, Office Depot’s mobile home page loaded on average in 5.33 seconds, Keynote finds. The weighted combination of its 98.55% success rate and its load time earned Office Depot a score of 931 out of 1,000. The average load time for all 30 retailers on the index was 9.10 seconds, the average success rate was 96.80 seconds and the average score was 815.

Sears Holdings Corp. topped the index with a load time of 3.22 seconds and a success rate of 98.86% for a score of 986. LLC came in second with a load time of 4.38 seconds and a success rate of 98.21% for a score of 949. And L.L. Bean Inc. came in third with a load time of 5.43 seconds and a success rate of 99.48% for a score of 941.

Office Depot is No. 53 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300. Sears is No. 21, No. 215 and L.L. Bean No. 52.

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, 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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