Mobile retail sites struggled to keep up with demand

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Throughout December, Keynote research has revealed that mobile retail sites were significantly slower than they have been in previous months, and collectively took an additional second and a half to load – from an average of 19.51 seconds, compared to 17.95 seconds in November.  The 16 top performing sites were all slower in December than the top 16 in November.

For the Keynote Mobile Retail Index, Keynote Competitive Research, the industry analysis group of Keynote, tracks the mobile site performance of 24 of the top retailers across seven countries.  While the UK, France and Germany continued to dominate the top 5 times to load, France’s Fnac suffered with an increase in load time from 9.92 seconds in November to 17.02 seconds in December.

In terms of availability – the chances of a site loading correctly when visited – only one mobile site had a success rate of less than 90 percent in December.  On the whole, however, mobile sites were less reliable with an average availability of 95.78 percent in December, compared to 96.91 percent in November.Mobile retails sites that Keynote Systems monitors from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, UK and the USA

“It was more important than ever this Christmas for online mobile websites to perform well, as many Christmas shoppers exclusively used online devices for shopping,” said Robert Castley, lead solutions consultant at Keynote Systems.  “Christmas can be a lucrative time for retailers, but it is also a highly competitive time, and a well performing mobile retail site can make the difference between winning and losing a sale.”

“It is very difficult to accurately predict the level of pressure mobile websites will be under, particularly given the progression of mobile since last Christmas, and this is why it is absolutely paramount that enterprises test and monitor their online presence across all three screens – websites, mobiles and tablets.  It isn’t enough to rely on the knowledge that the site has held up in the past, firms must proactively make sure their mobile sites can take the strain,” advised Castley.

The mobile sites of these retailers were measured using a webkit based smartphone browser every hour from London, Nürnberg, Paris, San Francisco, New York, Stockholm, Sydney and Tokyo.  3G networks are used for monitoring which can lead to an increase in performance times due to the carrier latency overhead.  To subscribe to Keynote System’s weekly performance indices please visit: http://programs.keynote.com/subscriptions/kcr_performance_indices.html

 

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