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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 04, 2010

Mobile websites dawdling compared to wired web counterparts

While mobile Internet users want information on-the-go, it seems mobile websites are dawdling and have quite some way to go before their performance catches up with that expected from users of the wired web.

by Helen Leggatt

keynote_logo.gifWhile wired web users expect page load times of around two seconds, Keynote Systems' study of 10 major e-retail websites - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Best Buy, Musician's Friend, Dell, Sears, Target, Wal-Mart and Foot Locker - found that even the most mobile-optimized websites take a lot longer to load.

In fact, the fastest mobile homepage load time in this study belonged to Best Buy, which loaded in 8.3 seconds. Wal-mart had the fastest mobile search results page, which took 4.5 seconds while Foot Locker performed the fastest mobile product information request at 5.7 seconds.

Even the availability of some of the top mobile websites was left wanting. While the study indicated that consumers expect 99.5% availability the top performing mobile website in this respect, Foot Locker, only managed 97.6% while the majority of the top ten fell below 90%.

Evan Schuman, writing for StorefrontBacktalk, reports Ken Harker, a Keynote senior manager for mobile and Internet technologies, as citing how seriously a chain takes mobile as a retail channel as being a major factor with regards to performance.

Harker also notes that Best Buy - the fastest loading homepage - is "stripped down" to just three elements - such as Javascript, Flash or images - and makes heavy use of cache, whereas the slowest site had around 70 elements and little caching.

"They're not really making an effort to trim down the site for the mobile market. Images, JavaScript, stylesheets, HTML elements - it adds up very quickly. They're not doing any optimization for mobile customers at all," said Harker.

Tags: e-commerce, m-commerce, mobile marketing, mobile phones, mobile web, website performance

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