11 Stats Showing Why You Should Care about Mobile Web Performance

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A recent survey of 2300 CIOs from twenty-three different cities in the US found that one out of four have no mobile strategy. While there are many all-too-predictable reasons for this — budget restrictions, lack of ownership, believing mobile is a “nice to have” rather than “need to have” strategy, and simple old-fashioned inertia — these reasons pale beside the potential losses incurred by not taking advantage of the wealth of opportunities that mobile presents.

Today, I’d like to share a roundup of compelling reasons to make mobile a priority in 2015.

1. More than 1.2 billion people worldwide use the web via mobile devices.

What’s more, 25% of internet users in the US access the internet solely through their mobile devices. [source]

Mobile-only internet users

2. Mobile accounts for half of all ecommerce traffic.

This breaks down to 40% of traffic coming from smartphones and 10% from tablets. [source]

Half of all ecommerce traffic comes from mobile devices

3. Mobile sales are growing three times faster than overall ecommerce

Mobile commerce has grown 48% year over year, to approximately $8 billion in the second quarter of 2014. [source]

4. Up to 97% of mobile shopping carts are abandoned.

There are a number of reasons why users abandon their carts, from too-complicated payment processes to poor usability. Slowness is a critical usability factor. Almost half of mobile shoppers say they’ll go to a competitor’s site if they have an unsatisfactory experience. [source]

97% of mobile shopping carts are abandoned

5. Even if your users aren’t converting on their mobile devices, mobile is still a crucial element in the transaction.

90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal. The average online shopper makes 6.2 visits to a company’s website, using 2.6 devices, before they buy. [source and source]

6. Mobile users expect pages to load as fast as, if not faster than, pages on desktop computers.

Almost half of mobile users expect pages to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. [source and source]

40% of internet users will abandon a page that takes 3 or more seconds to load

7. The median ecommerce page doesn’t meet user expectations for speedy load times.

Among the top 100 retail websites, the median m-dot page takes 4.8 seconds to load on the iPhone 5s, and 7 seconds to load on the iPhone 4s (over LTE). The median full-site page performed even worse, taking 11 seconds to load on the iPhone 5s and 15.2 seconds on the iPhone 4s. [source]

8. When pages are slow, user frustration increases and engagement decreases.

Mobile users are significantly affected by slow performance. Just a 500ms connection speed delay results in up to a 26% increase in peak frustration and up to an 8% decrease in engagement. [source]

Slow web pages increase frustration and decrease engagement

9. Just a 1-second delay in mobile load times can hurt bounce rate, conversions, cart size, and page views.

Even seemingly minor performance problems can have a major impact on mobile business metrics. A 12-week study of mobile consumers found that when a 1000ms network delay was introduced to a small cohort of mobile traffic, key performance indicators suffered compared to mobile shoppers visiting over normal speed. [source]

Slow pages hurt mobile business metrics

10. The average page served to mobile devices is now over 1 MB in size.

Page size is arguably the single greatest indicator of performance for pages served to mobile devices. Faster pages are (almost) always less than 1 MB in size. Yet according to the Mobile HTTP Archive (which tracks page metrics for the top million Alexa-ranked sites), the average page served to mobile devices carries a payload of 1109 KB. The main culprits behind this page growth: unoptimized images and third-party scripts, as well as poorly implemented responsive web design. [source]

11. Globally, 3G is still the dominant network type.

Most of your smartphone users are still accessing your pages over 3G. Mobile network latency presents a major performance challenge. The average resource roundtrip (the amount of time it takes for the host server to receive, process, and send a page resource) is around 200-300 milliseconds over 3G. A typical web page contains around 100 resources, and modern browsers can open a maximum of only 4-8 connections for loading those resources. Using these numbers, you can easily appreciate the performance hit caused by latency. [source]

Takeaway

Delivering a fast, consistent user experience across devices – particularly mobile – has never been more crucial than it is now.

There’s no magic bullet for mobile performance, but there are many best practices site owners can leverage. The best tips for designing a mobile-friendly site are universal for all platforms: keep pages clear, simple, and concise. 97% of mobile response time happens at the front end, after the HTML arrives at the browser. This means that the front end – the web page itself – is where site owners can focus their performance optimization efforts and achieve maximum results.

Among other things, developers should aim to keep pages small (well under 1 MB), optimize images, compress other page resources, limit JavaScript, and defer rendering “below-the-fold” content.

Radware FastView offers the most advanced set of front-end optimization features on the market. Learn more.

14 COMMENTS

  1. None of the “user response to page load time” studies I have read distinguish between the landing page and subsequent pages. Yet all the advice I read on keeping page load times below 1 (2, 4) seconds assumes they are the same, even though it is much easier to make subsequent pages faster (with caching and / or history.pushState). Anecdotally, people are much more forgiving of a slower landing page.

    Can you point to some studies that have evaluated the different expectations of landing and subsequent pages?

    regards,
    Sean

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