Cramming data in smaller packages can decrease page download time

That’s how Office Depot moved up on this week’s mobile performance index.

Bill Siwicki

Anyone with a PC can compress files. On many operating systems one just right-clicks on a file, selects Send To, then selects Zipped Folder. The outcome is a file with fewer kilobytes of “weight.”

Retailers can do pretty much the same thing with the contents of a mobile commerce site page: cram page elements into small packets of data so a page loses weight and can be downloaded more quickly. That is what Office Depot Inc. did, and that tactic helped move it up three spots to No. 12 on the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index for the week ending April 15.

“When compared to data from the previous week, out of the 30 retail sites on the index Office Depot had the largest page load time improvement of 1.66 seconds for an average 6.51 seconds,” says Herman Ng, mobile performance evangelist at mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc. “We discovered that on April 11 the page size of Office Depot’s mobile site decreased by approximately 40% when accessed by smartphones. Since smartphones support content compression, reducing the page size further optimized the page download time over wireless connections. After the page content was compressed, the number of bytes used to download Office Depot’s mobile site was reduced. Page compression is a great way to optimize mobile site performance and achieve significant improvement in page download times.”

The average time it took to download the Office Depot m-commerce site home page was 6.51 seconds and it successfully downloaded 97.72% of the time, earning the retailer a score of 769 out of 1,000. It beat the average score of the 30 retailers on the index, 694. The average load time was 8.23 seconds and the average success rate was 97.74%.

Dell Inc. moved up two spots to grab the top position in last week’s index. Its average load time was 5.26 seconds with a success rate of 98.56% for a score of 978. Walgreen Co. came in second with a load time of 5.22 seconds, a success rate of 98.53% and a score of 973. And Walmart.com came in third with a load time of 5.61 seconds, a success rate of 98.59% and a score of 968.

Click here 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 various categories and channels, and of various sizes, ranging from such giants as Amazon.com Inc., Sears Holdings Corp. and 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., to midsized retailers like Sunglass Hut, Toolfetch.com LLC and K&L Wine Merchants. Keynote tests the sites in the index every hour Monday through Friday 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 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.


Keynote Systems, Keynote Systems Inc., m-commerce, m-commerce site, m-commerce site performance, Mobile, mobile commerce