Cyber Monday Warning: E-Commerce Sites Too Slow
November 13, 2013

Pete Goldin

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Mobile users are unhappy with mobile site performance status quo and are increasingly demanding on mobile experience expectations, according to Radware's latest report, 2013 State of the Union: Mobile Ecommerce Performance.

By the end of 2013, mCommerce is expected to generate 16% of all online sales, an increase of 68% from 2012. Yet despite the promise of mobile, the majority of online retailers are failing to meet users' demand for pages that load in 4 seconds or less.

Key findings from the study include:

- The median page loads in 7.84 seconds (full site): Only 2 out of 100 sites loaded in less than 4 seconds, while 20 sites took 10+ seconds to load.

- The median mobile site took 4.33 seconds to load: While this was 44% faster than the full site, it falls somewhat short of mobile users’ stated load time threshold of 4 seconds.

- Mobile sites are on the rise, but 1 in 5 don't allow visitors to access the full site: 80% of companies have a mobile-specific site, up from 76% in 2012. Of these mobile sites, 79% offer a link that allows users to view the full site, while 21% do not offer full site access.

- Even tablet-using shoppers get sent to the mobile site: Most sites serve the full site to the iPad, and the few don't offer a link to the full site. However, almost one-third of sites serve the mobile site to the Android tablet, and 3% do not allow Android tablet shoppers to access the full site at all.

"While mobile sales are on the rise, they still fall far short of their potential," says Tammy Everts, web performance evangelist, Radware. "More than half of all time spent with online retail sites occur on a mobile device, and we’re investigating why there is such a massive gap between how much time consumers spend on mobile retail versus how much money they spend on mobile retail. Slow pages are the number one user complaint around mobile sites, ranking even higher than site crashes. Our findings are a wake-up call for online retailers to closely examine mobile web performance and optimize in anticipation of the holiday shopping season."

Another recent APMdigest blog: Top Retail Sites Too Slow

Radwares study measured and tracked the performance of the top 100 US retail websites (as ranked by – both the full and mobile versions – across several popular mobile devices. Conducted over a over a four-week period, the study subjected the home page of each site to a series of page speed tests over 4G and Wifi networks, and calculated the median results for metrics such as load time and number of resources.

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