Speed of Mobile Page Launch A Top Challenge For Retailers

As smartphone and tablet adoption continues to increase, retailers are recognizing and addressing the unique wants and needs of today’s mobile-savvy consumers.

Faster mobile page launch is a leading challenge for multichannel retailers. While merchants have worked to ensure that e-Commerce sites load quickly on desktop and laptop computers, this seamless experience has not carried over to mobile devices, according to a study from Keynote Competitive Research.

Results from the Keynote 2012 Mobile User Survey revealed that 66% of smartphone and tablet users find slow web page load times a top frustration. Overall, 78% of tablet owners and 64% of smartphone users expect a web site to load within four seconds or less. Respondents also noted poor interaction experiences on web sites (46%) and inefficient navigation on specific pages (44%) as other chief frustrations.


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“The end-user expectation is a critical benchmark as content providers focus their energies and resources on improving the mobile experience,” Tim Murphy, Manager of Mobile Quality at Keynote, told Retail TouchPoints. “Slow load times continues to be the major pain point for both consumers and merchants. I believe that just as desktop and laptop performance was vital in determining online winners and losers a decade ago, mobile performance will play a pivotal role in determining which retailers will lead the mobile experience five years from now.”

The six-month survey of 5,388 smartphone and tablet users pinpointed several differences between their browsing and buying behavior, and saw both user groups accessing the web differently than desktop and laptop users.

Typical Behaviors Of A Smartphone Subscriber

The Keynote survey revealed that Android was the most popular operating system for smartphones (43%), while 37% of respondents indicated that they utilize iPhones from Apple.

The top activities performed on a smartphone included the following:

  • Accessing local information (88%);
  • Searching for [general] information (82%); 
  • Participating in social media/networking sites (76%);
  • Finding local services (74%);
  • Researching products and services (62%);
  • Purchasing products and services (47%); and
  • Reading and posting reviews of products and services (42%).

More than a third (35%) of smartphone users said they prefer to shop via mobile web, compared to only 11% that mostly access content and buy items via apps, the study revealed. This may be due to the greater amount of discovery possible via mobile search, Murphy explained. “Mobile web tends to be more popular because content is far more discoverable,” he reported. “Prospective customers are far more likely to find items in a browser search than going through an app store.”

Purchasing More Common Among Tablet-Toting Consumers

Browsing and buying is becoming more commonplace among tablet users, too. As many as 62% of tablet users tap into their devices to complete a purchase, according to the Keynote survey. This is a substantial increase over the 47% of smartphone users who complete purchases on their devices.

Other top activities for tablet users include the following:

  • Reading news and accessing entertainment (79%);
  • Searching for information (77%);
  • Watching videos (76%); and
  • Researching products/services (69%).

Apple was the clear leader in the tablet market, with 53% of device owners utilizing iPads. The next most popular tablet was Amazon’s KindleFire, which garnered 20% of tablet ownership.

Click here to view additional findings from the 2012 Mobile User Survey.

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