Costco takes the top spot in a test of retailers’ mobile and website performance

July 23, 2015 01:25 PM

Costco Wholesale Corp. moved up four spots to take first place in June in a ranking of the web and mobile site performance of big online retailers.

Costco, No. 11 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500, was followed by Amway (No. 29) and Apple Inc. (No. 2), in the initial report of what will be a monthly ranking of top e-retailers’ site performance by Dynatrace, a company that specializes in monitoring website performance. Williams-Sonoma Inc. (No. 20), which had achieved the top score in Dynatrace’s study for May, fell to No. 9, in part because it only ranked 17th in mobile site performance.

Rounding out the top 10 in the June rankings were, part of Systemax Inc. (No. 32); PC Connection Inc. (No. 53); Inc. (No. 31); Best Buy Co. Inc. (No. 14); Urban Outfitters Inc. (No. 49); Williams-Sonoma (No. 20); and Office Depot Inc. (No. 8). Inc. (No. 1) was ranked No. 22 of the 30 e-retailers studied, two spots better than in May. Amazon was 13th in mobile performance but ranked 28 of 30 in what Dynatrace calls “last-mile performance,” which measures the time it takes to access from the homes or business of actual web users.

Apple gained by reducing the page weight of its mobile site—that is the data that must be downloaded to display images, text and other features—by about 50% in early July, says David Jones, field technical evangelist at Dynatrace. That reduced the time to access Apple’s mobile site from 6.5-7 seconds to an average of about 5 seconds.

For a detailed analysis of the June performance results, see Jones’ article on the Internet Retailer blog.

Dynatrace ranks the web and mobile site performance of 30 top online retailers for Internet Retailer. In all cases, Dynatrace runs tests on these retailers’ websites that start on the home page, include searching for a product and take the process through to checkout. Most, but not all, of the retailers studied are clients of Dynatrace or of Keynote, which is in the process of merging with Dynatrace. Dynatrace provides website monitoring services to 125 of the retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500 and Keynote 46, according to

For this study, Dynatrace aggregates scores on four subcategories to create an overall score. Each retailer’s ranking in each subcategory is also reported in the index. Here are the four subcategories:

  • Mobile: tests pulling up the mobile page across mobile carriers,
  • Last Mile: test running from real end-user machines running in homes and businesses across the U.S.
  • Web: test hitting the home pages of each retailer from network nodes
  • Transactions: tests which search for a product, add it to a cart and checkout.  

Each ranking is created by examining:

1)     Response Time: how fast to execute that transaction.

2)     Availability: how successful were we at executing the tests.

3)     Consistency: how much variability there was in the results.  




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