StrategyDesignMobile websites are pushing mobile-first customers to competitors by design

Mobile websites are pushing mobile-first customers to competitors by design

People are 100 times more impatient online than they are in physical reality. It probably took you just about five or so seconds to read that last sentence. If you were a mobile consumer and this were a mobile brand website, you would have considered abandoning your transaction in that time frame.

Customers are increasingly connected and always ready to reach for their mobile device when they need information, to communicate or simply seeking a distraction. As a result, mobile consumers are better informed, faster, more demanding and impatient.

For anyone working in UX, digital, web, commerce, marketing…, what this means is that mobile customers are ready to bolt if your site isn’t intuitively performing against their heightened expectations.

Did you know the average mobile page loads fully in 15.3 seconds?

While that may not seem like a long time, take a moment to count to 15. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Asking mobile visitors to spend 15 seconds waiting for a page to load so that you can sell them something might not seem like a big deal, but according to Google research, the ideal load time on mobile devices with a 3G connection is 5 seconds or less. That’s a 67% difference and anything more, is most likely affecting customer experiences and potential conversions.

We don’t think about it, because we’re not our own customers. We design, build, launch and update. We invest in traffic and optimize for conversions. But with mobile comes sophistication and discernment.

In its research, Google also found that if consumers have a negative experience, 62% are less likely to purchase from that brand in the future. 

After all, mobile consumers seem to abide by a selfie-fulfilling system of belief that “impatience is a virtue.” Slow mobile sites not only frustrate consumers, they also hinder business. In retail cases, Google learned that a one-second delay in mobile load times can impact mobile conversions by up to 20%.

It’s easy to miss these important mobile cues.

The truth is that marketers don’t always prioritize mobile because they say mobile conversions are still lower than desktop conversions. But it’s not because consumers don’t want to transact on mobile; it’s because the experiences being offered to them are subpar.

If we think about the mindset of a mobile consumer, we can see the world through their screens. Their device is always within arm’s reach.

They go to bed and wake up with mobile. They share their experiences on their favorite social networks in real time and expect immediate engagement. They scroll and swipe through apps and content in between other tasks about 150x a day.

It all adds up. It’s estimated mobile consumers average about 177 minutes on their phones per day. And, every day, consumers are only becoming savvier and more discerning mobile shoppers.

When it’s time to buy a new pair of shoes, find their next trip, shop for a new car, or whatever’s next on their list, how does your mobile site perform?

At Mobile World Congress, Google introduced new tools to help brands compare mobile site speed (Speed Scorecard) with industry peers and estimate potential revenue impact (Impact Calculator). The goal is to help brands understand the value of increased performance.

It’s not the destination it’s the journey. But when it comes to conversions, website speed and load times count for everything. Mobile consumers expect fast, frictionless experiences. They’re conditioned by their favorite apps and sites regardless of industry. When those expectations aren’t met, they simply move on.

To win in mobile starts with speed and is rounded out by relevant, useful, personalized experiences that prioritize visitor intent and outcomes.

The goal is, after all, to help customers find you and take action, wherever and however they choose to shop. Delivering against evolving consumer needs and preferences matters as it leads to more engaged customers, user satisfaction, and higher revenue. As the old saying goes, time is money.


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