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JetBlue scores top marks in mobile Web study

JetBlue bested other airlines in terms of mobile Web response time and consistency, according to Gomez's benchmark study for July.

The number of airline companies scoring top marks for mobile Web performance dropped from five in May to one, JetBlue, but still bested the banking and search industries. The search industry has two companies scoring top marks, Google and Yahoo, and banking had none.

"The average discoverability for mobile airlines in the period was higher than that seen in the June results," said Matthew Poepsel, vice president of performance management strategies at Gomez , Lexington, MA. "Three airlines made significant improvements in this category and earned maximum scores in July."

Gomez is a Web application experience management observer, letting organizations use an on-demand platform to optimize the performance, quality and availability of their Web and mobile applications.

The July benchmark study showed how airlines, banking and search are performing overall on the mobile Web. It also provided a comparison of leading companies within each of the industries across several key performance metrics.

The airline industry did best of all three industries in terms of mobile Web response times or speed of page loads. But, the airline sector lagged behind the other industries in terms of availability.

According to Mr. Poepsel, three common trends emerged in July.

"In banking, the average discoverability score -- a measure of how many ways mobile end-users can locate mobile web properties -- is lower than that of the airlines and search industries," he said.

"In airlines, three companies received a maximum score of five for readiness -- a measure of how well suited Web content is for the mobile format. Only one banking site and one search site received the maximum readiness score.

"Mobile response times ranged from an average 2.94 seconds to 9.70 seconds. This difference of more than three times between the fastest and slowest sites indicates that mobile end-users are getting markedly different experiences in search performance."

Mr. Poepsel said mobile Web providers don't have the luxury of risking end-user experiences.

"These companies have spent considerable money on their mobile Web applications, and they are working hard to drive adoption of mobile applications," he said. "Companies have to perform adequately in all categories of the Mobile Benchmark, as each influences mobile end-user satisfaction.

"Despite the fact that there's little margin for error, there are several examples of companies who need to improve key aspects of their mobile applications."

Mr. Poespel said companies must aim to improve in each of the core categories of the study and prioritize by discoverability, readiness, availability, response time and cosistency.

"Any company with a mobile application should baseline its current results and discuss them within a cross-functional team," he said.

"The mobile benchmark results can be used to develop and prioritize improvement opportunities as well as measure their impact."