March 21, 2012, 11:59 AM

Tablet users have high expectations

And the negative repercussions of a poor site experience are serious, a study finds.

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Just because a consumer is visiting a web site on a tablet rather than a desktop computer doesn’t mean they lower their expectations of how sites should load and perform. In fact, they expect similar and sometimes even better performance. And, if they’re unhappy, they are less likely to visit that site in the future, a new study finds. What’s more, many unhappy consumers are going to let others know, according to the study by information technology and performance management vendor Compuware Corp.

“Engaging the Tablet User: What They Expect From Web Sites” finds that 13% of 2,033 tablet owners in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and India expect a web page to load on a tablet in less than one second. 24% expect a load time of one second, 32% two seconds, 20% three seconds, and 11% four seconds or more, the study says.

Comparing tablet page load times with desktop computer load times, 42% of tablet users expect the times to be the same, the study finds. 28% say pages should load faster on a tablet, 21% almost as fast, 8% somewhat slower and 2% much slower, the study says. These figures add up to more than 100% due to rounding.

If tablet users encounter problems loading or using a web site, they are likely to give the site another chance. If they experience a problem with a task such as loading a page or completing a transaction, 24% say they would try one more time, 46% say twice, 17% say three times, and 7% say four or more times, the study says. Only 6% of tablet users say they would not try again, the study finds.

49% of tablet users say if they experience a problem with a web site on a tablet they are less likely to visit that site again, the study says. 46% say they would visit a competitor’s site, 33% say they are less likely to purchase from the company with the problematic site, 28% say they will have a negative overall perception of that company, 21% say they will tell others about the poor experience, and 12% say they will relay the problem through social media.

“One thing is clear: Organizations that ignore tablet users do so at their peril,” the study says. “For organizations that depend on the web to drive business, tablets represent an important new channel for customer engagement. But great opportunity comes with great danger. Failure to deliver fast, quality web experiences and meet rising end-user expectations can reduce revenue, increase costs and damage the brand.”

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