June 25, 2010, 2:02 PM

Mobile retailers better speed it up

Consumers expect mobile web sites to load at least as fast as PC web sites.

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58% of mobile web users expect web site load speeds on their mobile devices to be comparable to, or better than, what they experience on their personal computers, a new study from web and mobile web measurement firm Gomez finds.

25% of mobile web users expect mobile sites, including m-commerce sites, to finish loading on their mobile phones almost as quickly as PC web sites do on a computer, the study of more than 1,000 mobile web users says. 21% expect mobile sites to load just as quickly, and 12% expect them to load faster.

31% of mobile web users expect mobile sites to load a bit slower on their phones compared with PC web sites accessed via computer, and 11% expect the sites to load much slower on their phones, the study finds.

These high expectations raise the bar for retailers building m-commerce sites, according to the report. Data transmission speeds are much faster on hard-wired networks than on wireless networks. So to meet consumer expectations retailers must consider the size, design, features and functions of their m-commerce sites to ensure the quickest load times possible, says Gomez, a division of software company Compuware Corp.

“Mobile users may be willing to trade some functionality for the convenience of mobile connectivity, but they will not sacrifice speed or availability,” the study concludes. “Today’s patience threshold for the ‘wired web’ is just two seconds for page load time, down from four seconds only three years ago. Looking ahead, expectations will only continue to rise. Within 12 to 16 months, the next generation in mobile connectivity, 4G networks, will make smartphones smarter, networks faster—and end-users even more eager for immediate interactive gratification.”

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