Mobile Users Demand Speed in Website Load Times

Mobile Users Demand Speed in Website Load Times

By: Shelly Kramer
August 9, 2011

Danger: Slow Load Time on Mobile Sites Costs Customers

With the rate at which information travels in our digital age and with mobile data consumption on the rise, people are less patient than ever before when it comes to website load times — and mobile users demand speed.

We are obsessed with speed.

If browsers aren’t loading quickly enough, those of us who are mobile users waste no time looking for sites that will get us the information we want. Now.

Despite mobile browsing just now really gaining traction, it is pretty much universally expected that sites will load quickly for mobile users — which can be the difference between a sale–or a new customer–for you and your business.


Mobile Users Don’t Wait

Think I’m kidding? Mobile users will abandon a site after 3 seconds of wait timewhich is consistent with the habits of desktop browsers.  According to the folks at Strangeloop, 74% of mobile users surveyed in 2011 will bounce after waiting 5 seconds for a mobile site to load, compared to 20% in 2009.

Time Is, Most Definitely, Money

Website load time can hugely impact the number of site visits you see and, if you’re selling goods online, it can absolutely have a negative impact on your revenue. A 1 second delay in load time can lead to 11% fewer page views and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

Here are some stats from Strangeloop (one of our new favorite resources) that are pretty convincing:

  • Faster is better just about everywhere, not just in the tech domain.
  • People have to concentrate 50% harder when using badly performing websites.
  • The average person perceives website load time as being about 15% slower than what it is in reality (and we all know that perception is reality, right?).
  • A 1 second load time gives the illusion of instantaneous load, while a 10 second load is so long that our attention can drift away – maybe forever.
There’s a wealth of interesting articles on this topic in Strangeloop’s Web Performance Hub – do check them out.


What Does Website UX Mean To You?

So what does this mean to you? Pardon me while I get my soapbox…but optimizing your site is essential. Yes, we regularly harp about making sure your visitors have a great user experience but, seriously, it’s really important.

You can have a beautifully-designed site that’s visually appealing, has a great site structure and compelling content that draws in visitors. You can also spend boatloads of money on PPC campaigns designed to drive traffic to your site. But all of that doesn’t matter if your site is laden with design elements that kill your site load time.

Visitors won’t hang around to see your beautiful site and your killer content because they’re too annoyed by how long your website takes to load. Oh, and as an aside, if you have music or video that automagically plays the minute a user lands on your site (mobile or otherwise), know that most times users instantly want to hire an assassin and kill you. I know I do. It is so not cool.

As site owner, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t review the usability, analytics and load time of your site – and your site on a mobile device – on a regular basis. Go do a pulse check on Google’s Page Speed tool and see what the feedback you receive. Go do it. Right now!

If some red flags come up here, it might be time to consider what the main goals for your site are and what updates are needed to help you focus on reaching those goals. Never forget – websites are for leads and sales. And if your site isn’t designed to maximize a user experience and create leads that you can convert to sales well, your site’s not doing what it needs to be doing.

And by the way, if you need help, building great websites – websites that work – is what we do. All day, every day. And we’re happy to help.

P.S. For those of you who are visual peeps, sometimes an infographic helps digest the enormity of stats like this. For just that reason, this infographic produced by Strangeloop is so stellar it’s included here. I’m also tossing it in just to torment my friend, Jon Aston, who loathes infographics. I do so love tormenting.

Strangelove Website Load Speed Infographic