November 13, 2013

Mobile shoppers and the need for speed

Written By Martin Sandhu
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Mobile has grown exponentially over the last few years and the majority of businesses are now fully aware that they need some sort of mobile strategy, be that in the form of a mobile app, mobile advertising or a mobile optimised website.

According to reports, by the end of 2013 m-commerce is expected to generate 16% of all online sales. This is great news for Christmas shopping and the January sales, but as mobile shoppers become savvier they demand more too.

A study by Radware has found that many mobile retail websites simply don’t meet the standard that consumers expect…

Key facts from the study:

  • Mobile shoppers expect a site to load in four seconds or less
  • One in five mobile sites don’t allow visitors to access the full site
  • The average full site page loads in 7.84 seconds, the average mobile site page loads in 4.33 seconds
  • While mobile sites load 44% faster than full sites, load times still fail to meet expectations
  • Load times vary widely depending on the device being used
  • Almost a third of retailers served a mobile site to tablet users

View the full infographic here: http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0003/9798/mobile_infographic.jpg

In the run up to the busiest retail season of the year, these statistics are certainly of concern, particularly when a separate survey has found that 57% of users won’t recommend a business if they have a bad mobile site. And bad includes load times!

Consumers want seamless experiences, from the store, to the desktop website to mobile sites and apps. This might mean changing things around a bit depending on the platform though. A seamless experience doesn’t necessarily mean you website has to look and act identically across desktop, mobile, tablet and app. As long as the brand is coherent and the retail experience is the same, consumers will care more about user experience and the speed of the site, then whether it is exactly the same as the desktop site they were using earlier.

Whilst the rise of mobile is undoubtedly a positive, particularly for retailers, the convenience it has brought has developed more demanding users and lead to less tolerant consumers. Whereas in the days of dial-up internet, waiting for a page to load for a few minutes was entirely acceptable, in the days of 4G and superfast broadband that simply isn’t something that consumers are willing to put up with.