Shopping on Mobile Sites Has Long Way to Go Says Retail Study from Keynote

Keynote Competitive Research , the industry analysis group of Keynote Systems (Nasdaq:KEYN), the global leader in on-demand mobile and Internet test & measurement solutions for continuously improving the online experience , today announced the top line results of one of the nation’s first ever in-depth studies of the performance of leading mobile Web sites during a holiday shopping season and the results were not impressive.

Using Keynote Mobile Application Perspective ®, the company measured the performance of 10 retail mobile Web sites during the critical weeks from November 18, 2009 to January 4, 2010. The 10 sites included in The Keynote Mobile Holiday Shopping Study were: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Costco, Dell, Foot Locker, Musicians Friend, Sears, Target and Wal-Mart. The study measured the download performance for three pages on each site: loading the mobile site home page, searching for product and getting information about a specific product. Measurements were taken from two markets (New York and San Francisco) using AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon wireless data connections. The study results provide an excellent source of business intelligence regarding the performance and reliability of leading retailers’ mobile offerings and are available for immediate purchase. To receive more information about the study view: _competitive_research/industry_studies/mobile_retail_holiday_study_2010.html

“Shopping on mobile Web sites still has a lot of catching up to do in both download performance and uptime when compared to the performance of connected Web sites,” said Ben Rushlo, senior manager of Internet technologies at Keynote.

Home page average times on the Study ranged from 8.3 seconds in the best case of Best Buy to 34.4 seconds in the worst case. Search results ranged from 4.5 seconds for Wal-Mart to 37.9 seconds. And product information ranged from 5.7 seconds turned in by Foot Locker to 26.8 seconds. “Consumers on the wired Web are used to much, much faster times, and often expect pages to load in two seconds or less. Even the best mobile Web sites take two to three times as long as that despite being optimized heavily for the mobile phone experience, and the worst sites are taking over a half a minute on average to load each page,” Rushlo continued.

The Keynote study also showed that mobile Web sites have much higher error rates than non-mobile sites. The overall range of availability was between 97.6% for Foot Locker to just 74.7%. Consumers on the wired Web expect 99.5% or better availability, so even the very best mobile Web sites are not fully meeting expectations. In fact, in the Keynote study only two mobile sites achieved an overall availability better than 90%, and three sites were below 80% overall.

Questions Answered By Keynote’s Mobile Holiday Shopping Study

Study purchasers will find answers to questions like:

  • Which four sites had the most consistent performance?
  • Which wireless carrier delivered the fastest page load times on average?
  • Which sites had load handling issues, slowing down more than 25% on average each day?
  • Which site had five major performance spikes during the holiday shopping period, mostly in retrieving information about a specific product?
  • Which site had a major performance spike on the day after Christmas?
  • Which site had a problem where it would either load the home page quickly or not at all?
  • Which site had a high error rate during the critical Black Friday/Cyber Monday period?
  • On which network carrier did Keynote’s measurements have the highest error rates?

More Information About the Study

The Keynote Mobile Holiday Shopping Study is commercially available and priced at $5,000. For more information visit us online: research/industry_studies/mobile_retail_holiday_study_2010.html

About Keynote

Keynote Systems (NASDAQ:KEYN) is the global leader in on-demand test & measurement solutions for continuously improving the online experience. For over a decade, Keynote has been providing measurement data and testing capabilities that allow companies to understand and improve their customers’ online and mobile experience. Keynote has four test and measurement businesses: Web performance, mobile quality, streaming & VoIP and customer experience/UX.