Walmart Labs speeding up the front end with Torbit purchase

Walmart.com's front door should be getting a boost soon thanks to a new acquisition.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

The Walmart Labs portfolio is getting a bit bigger on Wednesday with the news that the social commerce arm of the retail giant is acquiring private company Torbit.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based startup develops a platform for front-end optimization for websites, with a focus on enabling faster load times and making these techniques available to customers without a lot of IT time and/or resources.

Furthermore, Torbit's platform measures website performance to estimate how much speed affects revenue.

Thus, we could be seeing such a boost to Walmart.com as a prime example soon.

Jeremy King, senior vice president and chief technology officer of global e-commerce at Walmart, explained further in a blog post on Wednesday how this will work across multiple channels from the desktop to mobile devices.

For example, this optimization can dynamically minimize and compress the files the browser downloads to best fit the browser's characteristics.  By rewriting the page to best exploit the performance behavior of the Web browser requesting the page, Site Optimization can help each browser fetch and render each page as efficiently as possible. This is important because image loading results in a site experience that helps customers find what they want faster.

A handful of Torbit's lead web developers and software engineers will be joining the Walmart Labs team.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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