Barnes & Noble takes the mobile commerce number 5 position

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Smartphone performance rankings for the bookseller move right up the ladder.

The Barnes & Noble mobile commerce strategy has taken a turn in the right direction over the last two months as it places its focus on availability and, subsequently, witnesses the positive results of this effort.

It has been steadily climbing its way up the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index ranks.

It is now sitting solidly within the number 5 position in those rankings, as its smartphone page loads within a rapid 4.98 seconds, and achieves successful loading over 99 times out of one hundred.

According to Keynote Systems Inc. mobile performance expert, Ken Harker, “Over the month of June, the home page has trended from a fair 98.5% available up to an excellent 99.6% available.” He also pointed out that the home page is loading much more rapidly on smartphones. In fact, Harker stated that during the last three weeks, the average load time for the site was under five seconds.

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Equally, Barnes & Noble has stated that it is not done with its mobile commerce site optimization.

Harker pointed out that the bookseller could improve its site further by decreasing the number of very small image page requests in order to better its loading time. A first time visitor to the smartphone site has to experience 16 page requests for tiny images smaller than a kilobyte on a typical load of the homepage.

The majority of those images are used for decoration, shadow effects, or navigation. According to Harker, a page that has to load a number of very small images becomes inefficient, as each of the requests for the new page causes a delay in the network that is much larger than the actual file size would justify.

In order to improve its load time, it has been suggested by Harker that HTML5 programming language be considered by Barnes & Noble for its mobile commerce site. This would allow for rounded corners, shadow effects, and other decorative features that it appears to want, but without the necessity for individual images which must be loaded with their own page requests.

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