Mobile Shoppers Won’t Accept Slow Websites, According to a New Survey

By Jessica Benton | 28 Aug 2012

Keynote Competitive Research, the mobile and internet performance body, has found that smartphone and tablet users are coming to expect more and more from an online shopping experience, and won’t settle for slow page loads on mobile devices.

The Keynote Systems 2012 Mobile User survey has revealed that mobile and tablet consumers want fast downloads. These findings are nothing new but they do reiterate the fact that retailers need to improve website performance to keep up with consumer expectations.

Nearly 50 percent of survey respondents expected a website to load in less than 2 seconds, while 6 out of 10 people surveyed accepted a sub-3 second website download on tablets, and two-thirds of respondents count on a website loading in less than 4 seconds on smartphones.

The survey found that many websites, especially on smartphones and tablets, were too slow and consumer frustration was growing.

Slow page loads was the biggest pain point for two-thirds of smartphone users, while websites that are not optimised for smartphones was the second highest frustration.

The expectations of smartphone users are also escalating with 64 percent wanting a website to load within 4 seconds and 82 percent of respondents wanting a mobile website to load within 5 seconds.

What is probably the most worrying for retailers, is the findings that 16 percent of mobile users won’t return or wait for a website to load if it takes too long, and 6 percent will seek out competitor websites instead. These findings are screaming for retailers to participate in more testing and analysis of website performance. Walmart is one retailer that has discovered that improved optimisation has in turn resulted in better conversion rates.

Smartphones allow for on-the-go consuming, and the survey results backed this idea, finding that 29 percent of respondents spent at least 1 to 2 hours browsing the internet from their smartphones, compared with 37 percent of tablet users.

Accessing information such as maps and event details (88 percent), searching for general information (82 percent), using social media sites (76 percent), reading news and entertainment (75 percent) and finding local services like ATMs or store (74 percent) were the top 5 smartphone activities.

When it came to tablet and PC users, 60 percent expected to wait less than 3 seconds for a website to load. PC users wanted download speeds faster than 2 seconds.

Keynote Competitive Research surveyed 5,388 panelists about device ownership and mobile usage preferences. Smartphone users accounted for 3,145 respondents, while 1,976 were tablet users.

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