Mobile is reaching critical mass. According to Forrester Research, Inc., mobile commerce will top $6 billion by the end of this year (2011) and is expected to reach $31 billion by 2016.
The ubiquity of mobile phones, improved infrastructure, advances in device utility, overall market penetration and the hype around the iPhone and applications are driving phenomenal growth.
Worldwide, mobile commerce should hit $119 billion in 2015, according to ABI Research. Despite the upbeat forecasts, a large number of businesses are in the planning or early deployment phases of their mobile strategies, but consumers want to connect on mobile devices today.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon has said,
“In the last twelve months customers around the world ordered more than $1 billion worth of products from Amazon using a mobile device.”
I think that’s huge and only set to continue rising!
It’s a “One Web” World
Users are demanding superior web experiences and highly satisfying, convenient, on-the-go mobile site speeds regardless of their mode of access. Most mobile users expect to make sacrifices in terms of content depth and
feature-richness in exchange for the convenience of anytime, anyplace mobile Web access. One thing mobile users won’t sacrifice, however, is speed.
Mobile Service Performance Impacts Business Results
Mobile users expect quick, anytime, transactions that work flawlessly. This isn’t surprising because mobile users often use their devices for urgent needs like checking flight status, confirming reservations, comparing price options, and making appointments. Urgency heightens their expectations for speedy downloads; if you fail to meet their need for speed, you may pay a steep price
Mobile Web and App Experiences are Disappointing users
In 2009, Compuware commissioned Equation Research to conduct a study
of mobile users’ expectations and how they characterized their mobile web
experiences. The key takeaway in 2009: the mobile web was disappointing users
who had high expectations for mobile web performance and little patience for
poor performing sites.
Two years later, Compuware commissioned Equation Research to conduct a follow-on
study to find out if users’ mobile web experiences improved. We expanded
the study to include global mobile users, and mobile users’ expectations and
experiences for mobile applications.
• Mobile users’ expectations for mobile website speed continue to increase. 71% of
global mobile web users expect websites to load as quickly, almost as quickly or
faster on their mobile phone compared to the computer they use at home – up from
58% in 2009. However, almost half (46%) said websites load more slowly on their
• Nearly 60% of web users say they expect a website to load on their mobile phone
in 3 seconds or less and 74% are willing to wait 5 seconds or less for a single web
page to load before leaving the site. 50% are only willing to wait 5 seconds or less
for an application to load before exiting.
• 57% of global mobile web users had a problem accessing a website in the past
year and 47% had a problem accessing an app on their phone. More than 80%
of mobile web users would access websites more often from their phone if the
experience was as fast and reliable.
• Mobile users do not have much patience for retrying a website or application that is
not functioning initially — a third will go to a competitor’s site instead. The majority
of mobile web users are only willing to retry a website (78%) or application (80%)
two times or less if it does not work initially.
• A bad experience on a mobile website leaves mobile web users much less likely to
return to, or recommend, a particular website. Nearly half of mobile web users are
unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone and
57% are unlikely to recommend the site.
Mobile web users’ Expectations and Experiences users expect a Web-browsing experience on a
Smart phone that’s comparable to What they Get on a home computer
Mobile users’ expectations continue to increase – they expect websites to load as
quickly or faster on their phones as on their home computers or laptops. Users’
expectations for sites loading faster on their mobile phones than on their home
computers or laptops increased significantly from 12% in 2009 to 22% in 2011
Speed is crucial When accessing a Website from a Mobile Phone
Nearly 60% of web users say they expect a website to load on their mobile phones in
3 seconds or less and 74% are willing to wait 5 seconds or less for a single web page
to load before leaving the site. 50% are only willing to wait 5 seconds or less for an
application to load before exiting the site.
However, according to Compuware benchmark data, today 77% of top companies
across multiple verticals have mobile page load times of more than 5 seconds. China
and India have the highest user expectations for how sites and apps should work on
their phones and will not hesitate to voice their concerns.
Although almost three-quarters of global mobile users expect a website to load
as quickly or faster on their mobile phone versus their computers, almost half
(46%) say that websites load more slowly on their phones. In most countries,
website load time falls well short of users’ expectations.
Website load time expectations are highest in China and Germany. 75% of
mobile users in China expect websites to load in 3 seconds or less and two-thirds
are only willing to wait that long. Almost three-quarters of mobile phone users
in China will wait no more than 5 seconds for an application to load on their
Issues around accessing Mobile websites and Applications
Almost the same number of mobile web users (57%) experienced a problem in
the past year when accessing a website as in the 2009 study (60%). 47% had
problems accessing an app on their phones. Slow load time is cited as the most
common issue experienced when accessing a website or application.
More than half of mobile users in all countries experienced problems accessing
a website from their mobile phones. Fewer mobile users had issues loading
an app on their phones, but in China, 7 out of every 10 users’ experienced a
problem. Slow load time and crashed sites were the top issues for both websites
and applications across all countries. But for applications crashing, freezing or
receiving an error message were more prevalent issues.
Poor Mobile web experiences impact your business
The large majority of mobile web users are only willing to retry a website (78%)
or application (80%) two times or less if it does not work initially. And, 35% are
only willing to retry a website once or less while 43% are only willing to retry an
application once or less.
Nearly half of mobile web users are unlikely to return to a website if they had
trouble accessing it from their phones and 57% are unlikely to recommend the
site. Mobile phone users in China and Australia are the least likely to return to a
problematic site and Australian users are much less likely to recommend a site
where they encountered issues.
By every measure, mobile is exploding. Its gaining momentum as a source of
revenue and leads, and marketers are paying attention as consumer adoption
of mobile continues to grow. However, companies need to understand how
their customers are accessing and using mobile in order to capitalize on
every single interaction.
Mobile device capabilities have exploded in the last two years, but
unfortunately mobile device performance hasn’t kept pace. Delivering
fast, reliable mobile experiences is critical for businesses seeking to take
advantage of the opportunity provided by increased mobile access. How
do you evaluate the quality of the mobile web experiences you deliver? Ask
• Is your website performing to mobile users’ expectations?
• Are your third parties delivering the performance and availability you expect?
• Do your mobile sites and applications perform as intended across the devices
and networks your customers use?
As the novelty of the “anywhere web” wears off, users want mobile websites
and apps that perform. Businesses that embrace the mobile opportunity,
offer the most usable features, and provide the fastest, most consistent
performance will emerge as mobile leaders in their category.
Compuware commissioned Equation Research to conduct an online study to understand mobile Internet usage and perceptions. Interviews were
conducted from February 11-18, 2011. Survey results may have a margin of
error of plus or minus 3% at a 95% level of confidence.
The survey sample equals 4,014 total respondents (1,001 U.S., 500 U.K.,
500 Germany, 507 France, 506 China, 500 India, 500 Australia) who:
• Own a mobile/cellular phone.
• Must have used their mobile phones in the past 12 months to access/surf the
Survey invitations sent matching U.S. census data representation for age,
gender and income.