October 17, 2012, 4:05 PM

Mobile performance suffers at Office Depot and Foot Locker

The retailers plummet down the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index.

Lead Photo

The merchant's m-commerce site home page was only available 97.81% of the time last week.

Office Depot Inc. dropped 20 spots to No. 23 and Foot Locker Inc. fell 17 to No. 27 on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index for the week ending Oct. 14. The m-commerce sites of the two retailers were plagued by errors that prevented the sites from rendering, reports mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc.

“Office Depot recorded downtime for about three hours beginning about 10 p.m. Pacific time on the evening of Oct. 14,” says Keynote Systems mobile and web performance expert Joe Flake. “Keynote’s measurement computers recorded their mobile site as returning an error status 500, or Internal Server Error. Keynote recorded no partial screen load, only the browser’s indication of ‘Fail to access the requested resource’ and the status code. There were no immediate indications of changes to the site after the outage.”

Office Depot, No. 65 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, says the outage was due to routine maintenance. Its m-commerce site home page loaded on average in a fairly swift 3.66 seconds but it loaded completely and successfully only 97.81% of the time. The combined load time and success rate earned Office Depot an index score of 713 out of 1,000.

Foot Locker did not experience a specific outage period but instead had a large number of seemingly random errors—seen from multiple wireless carriers from multiple locations—where connection to a particular page element either timed out or returned a bad connection status, Keynote says. The errors could have been caused by the web server or by components of the site infrastructure, Keynote adds.

Foot Locker, No. 23 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its m-commerce site home page loaded on average in 8.95 seconds and its success rate was 96.98%, earning it a score of 491.

Barnes & Noble topped the index with a load time of 5.22 seconds and a success rate of 99.23% for a score of 975. Buy.com came in second with a load time of 3.87 seconds and a success rate of 99.12% for a score of 968. And Best Buy Co. came in third with a load time of 6.30 seconds and a success rate of 99.22% for a score of 962.

The average load time for all 30 retailers on the index was 8.36 seconds, the average success rate was 98.44% and the average score was 786.

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 Amazon.com Inc. to midsized retailers like Toolfetch.com LLC. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, Toolfetch.com is No. 248. Keynote tests the sites in the index every hour Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. through midnight Eastern time, emulating three different smartphones on three different wireless networks: Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4 on AT&T, the HTC Evo on Sprint 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 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 one another in overall quality. The index average score is the midpoint among all the sites’ scores.

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