3 seconds or else: Mobile performance makes or breaks holiday sales
By Digital News Asia November 29, 2013
- Survey of US smartphone/ tablets users shows spike in mobile shopping; demands for speed
- 37% will abandon sales to shop elsewhere if mobile site or app doesn’t load within 3secs
The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of technology performance company Compuware Corporation.
This year, 49% of smartphone and tablet users intend to use their mobile devices to search for and/ or buy gifts, and 36% plan to do more shopping via their devices this year than last, Compuware said in a statement.
The findings also show that the performance of retailers’ mobile websites and native applications can have a major impact on bottom line success during peak shopping periods, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond.
The study surveyed 2,025 U.S. adults age 18 and older, among which 1,191 were smartphone and/or tablet users, in advance of the holiday shopping season. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated, Compuware noted.
The survey sheds light on what can be seen as increasingly widespread adoption of shopping via mobile devices, and how it can become a must-have investment for retailers if they’re going to keep up with holiday purchasing behaviours, the company said in its statement.
“The rapid shift to mobile shopping may seem like no surprise, but the pace – 66% of 18- to 34-year-old smartphone or tablet users saying they will be using their devices to shop online this holiday season – has retailers scrambling,” said John Van Siclen, general manager of Compuware’s APM (Applications Performance Management) business unit.
“Mobile applications have more variables, like carrier latency, signal strength and battery life to contend with. Also, many mobile applications are simply less mature and less tested than their classic web counterparts.
“The winners in the battle for mobile shoppers this holiday season will be those who did the prior proper planning to assure their mobile applications are ready for the load and are proactively managed with the latest modern performance management technology,” he said.
Key findings from the survey (click infographic to enlarge):
- Mobile shopping adoption: 49% of smartphone/ tablet users intend to use their mobile devices to search for and/ or buy gifts this year, with 36% of users saying they will do more shopping in 2013 via their devices than last year.
- Mobile performance is critical: 37% of smartphone/ tablet users will abandon sales to shop elsewhere if a retailer’s mobile site or mobile application doesn’t load within three seconds. The number who will abandon sites rises to 45% for smartphone/ tablet users aged 18 to 34. One second too long and they’re lost to the competition.
- Mobile generation leading the way: The younger the buyer, the more likely he or she is to shop by smartphone or tablet. In fact, 66% of the ‘Mobile Generation’ (smartphone/ tablet users age 18 to 34 years old) will search and/ or buy via mobile devices this holiday season and 53% will do more holiday shopping this year on their smartphone/ tablet this year than last year.
- Barrier to future sales: Just one disappointed user is all it takes, as 29% of smartphone/ tablet users who have a poor online shopping experience say they are likely to complain on social media. This means that disappointed users can cause substantial collateral damage to brand reputations through negative commentary and ratings.
- Mobile devices pose complexity challenge: Retailers need to factor multidevice usage into their online strategies and user experiences, as 36% of smartphone and tablet users will use more than one device to search for or purchase gifts this holiday season. So e-commerce organisations will need to deliver seamless and intuitive experiences across a wide range of device types and mobile browsers.
- Native application performance essential: 34% of smartphone/ tablet users will be using company-specific native applications this holiday season. This makes complexity challenges difficult as performance needs to be maintained across multiple application versions and platforms created for different devices.
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