Retailer Mobile Sites Slow and Unstable, Study Finds

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Large retailers’ mobile sites are plagued by slow load times and high error rates, a study by Keynote Systems found.

The group measured the performance of ten top retailers’ mobile sites, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Dell, in three areas: the homepage load time, product search, and product information requests. This market research company found plenty of room for improvement, even with the best performing sites.

Mobile Fail
The study, titled The Keynote Mobile Holiday Shopping Study, found that the mobile sites tracked well below typical user standards in all three areas.

For example, consumers generally expect 99.5% or better site availability, according to Keynote Systems. Foot Locker’s mobile site, which the study found to be the most stable, had a 97.6% availability range. Only one other site of the ten achieved a higher than 90% availability rate, with three sites falling below 80%.

Slow to Load
Homepage load times, search inquiries, and product information requests also fared poorly. Web users generally expect all pages to load in two seconds or less, according to Keynote, but the fastest homepage load time in this study belonged to Best Buy, which loaded in 8.3 seconds. Wal-mart had the fastest search results page, which took 4.5 seconds. And Foot Locker performed the fastest product information request at 5.7 seconds.

The Keynote Mobile Holiday Shopping Study was conducted from November 18, 2009 to January 4, 2010 using AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile wireless connections in New York and San Francisco. A WebKit mobile browser engine similar to the browser found in Android devices and the iPhone was used. The sites measured included Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Costco, Dell, Foot Locker, Musician’s Friend, Sears, Target, and Wal-mart.

Source: Keynote Systems

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