14 Sep The importance of mobile page speed
People use their mobiles to shop more than ever before. But the average mobile retail site doesn’t live up to expectations—leading brands to lose customers and sales.
There’s no doubt about it: shoppers expect brands to deliver fast, frictionless mobile experiences. And those expectations keep rising as more and more shoppers rely on mobile in their micro-moments. Unfortunately, the reality is that many mobile sites are falling short.
Mobile sites lag behind desktop sites in key engagement metrics such as average time on site, pages per visit, and bounce rate. For retailers, this can be especially costly since 30 percent of all online shopping purchases now happen on mobile phones. According to figures from the US from thinkwithgoogle.com, the average retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds (figures as of July 2016), but, according to the most recent data, 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with site performance say they’re less likely to purchase from the same site again.
The good news is you don’t have to be a developer to help improve your company’s mobile site speed. By learning more about how your campaign or content impacts site performance, you can solve any issues ahead of time—ensuring your efforts reach their full potential, and visitors to your site are converted into shoppers.
Factors that impact on your mobile site speed:
The number of page elements.
The more elements on a page, the greater the page’s weight and complexity. A typical web page today weighs 2,486KB and contains a hundred or so assets hosted on dozens of different servers. Many of these assets are unoptimised, unmeasured, and unmonitored—and therefore unpredictable. This makes page loads volatile.
As a site owner, you can tackle this problem by setting performance budgets for pages. This means, for example, you could decide you want your site to load within three seconds (the “budget” of each page). Using that benchmark, you can cull unnecessary page elements that cause the load time to exceed that limit. You can also audit and monitor all the third-party scripts on your site that affect load times.
The number of images.
The research found that the number of images on a page was the second greatest predictor of conversions. Consider this: On a typical retail page, graphic elements such as favicons, logos, and product images can easily comprise up to two-thirds (in other words, hundreds of kilobytes) of a page’s total weight. The result: cumulatively slow page loads throughout a session. In fact, the research found sessions that converted users had 38% fewer images than sessions that didn’t convert.
To make sure that your mobile page loads as fast as possible, confirm that your images are formatted correctly. For example, saving a simple graphic as a JPEG rather than a PNG can cut its file size by more than half. Images should also be compressed and resized.
To find out how effective your online presence is, take a free digital health check, phone 1300 853 769.