March 23, 2011, 9:20 AM

Mobile site performance matters—a lot

At least according to mobile web measurement firm Compuware Gomez.

Compuware Gomez put out a nice little piece highlighting the best web and mobile web performers.  While they are a vendor that sells mobile web monitoring services, a few of the studies they cited were new to me. I’ve always asserted that consumers have even less patience with mobile sites than traditional web sites. The screen is smaller, mobile shoppers are on the go and it’s cumbersome to load another site on a smartphone while waiting for one page to load the way many do on PCs when they encounter slow sites.

Now, you don’t need to take my word for it. Mobile web use is growing and consumers want their mobile experiences fast.

If you don’t believe mobile will be massive, consider these facts:

According to Morgan Stanley, the volume of mobile users will outstrip the number of desktop Internet users by 2014. By 2011 Nielsen expects U.S. consumers will own more smartphones than ordinary feature phones.

If you’re looking for proof:

Within just a hundred days of launching their mobile sites, Marriott and Pizza Hut each did more than $1 million in sales from their mobile channels.

If you think mobile users will be patient because mobile is still relatively now:

According to a 2009 study by Equation Research, the majority of mobile phone users expect web sites to load as quickly, almost as quickly or faster on a mobile phone, compared to the computer they use at home. 

So who, according to Gomez is getting it right in the mobile realm? Of the 15 mobile retailers Gomez tracked, QVC came out on top with the best response time and availability. Its mobile site’s average response time was 2.54 seconds and average availability was 99.90%.

If your mobile site needs to look a little more like QVC’s Gomez suggests optimizing your mobile site for the devices and networks your customers are using, taking into account both where customers are located and when and how they access and use a mobile site.

Lastly, Gomez cautions not to sacrifice speed. “Mobile users are typically goal-directed. They need to perform a task immediately or in a short period of time, such as checking flight status, confirming reservations, comparing price options and making appointments,” Gomez says. A mobile site should give consumers access to what they want and it should give it to them fast.   

 

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