As technology rapidly improves, our expectations for these improvements rise accordingly. As consumers of mobile online content, whether we’re browsing social media or shopping for a gift, we expect fast load times and ease of use from the sites we frequent. While we often place the blame for slow-loading sites on our WiFi or data connection, the real culprit can be poorly designed or optimized websites. Unfortunately, our impatience as mobile consumers can cost businesses valuable revenue.
According to a 2017 study from SOASTA, “Mobile pages with a start render time of 1.3 seconds experienced the lowest bounce rate (23.1%).” In the grand scheme of things, 1 second passes within the blink of an eye—when it comes to mobile speed, that 1 second can cost a company valuable customers. Unsurprisingly, the study also found that 54% of study participants reported their frustration levels increased alongside the time it took to load a page.
Time is money, so businesses must find ways to meet their customer’s expectations around what constitutes a positive mobile experience. If they choose to ignore the ever-increasing status quo of lightning-speed service, they risk falling short to competitors.
In a Think With Google article, Mary Ellen Coe, the President of Google Customer Solutions, explained that businesses who have taken measures to decrease load times need to go a step further. “It’s not that businesses don’t understand that a fast mobile experience matters, but it’s easy to treat it as a one-and-done goal to accomplish. The reality is that no matter how fast your site is today, if it’s not an ongoing priority, over time that speed will degrade.”
Mary goes on to explain outdoor clothing company Dakine’s experience improving their load time. With a few strategic tweaks, such as image optimization and browser caching, the company was able to cut load times significantly on all of their pages. Their changes yielded incredible numbers: mobile traffic increased by 31%, mobile revenue by 45%, and a 4% increase in tablet sales.
If the SOASTA study and Dakine’s experience proves anything, it’s that businesses will quickly fall by the wayside without investing time and money to improve mobile speed. Luckily, companies have a wide range of tools at their disposal to help them measure and benchmark their mobile speed. For example, Google’s Test My Site tool allows businesses to analyze their mobile speed data so they can work to make strategic improvements. Even when technology leaves us feeling left in the dust, it provides us with ways to catch up if we know where to look.