Smartphone and Tablet Users Still Frustrated With Mobile Web Performance, Survey Says
August 06, 2012
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Keynote Competitive Research, the industry analysis group of Keynote Systems, shared results of its nationwide mobile user survey, revealing insight into how and why consumers leverage their smartphones and tablet devices.

Overall, the survey showed that while expectations vary somewhat depending on the platform – desktop, smartphone or tablet – they are definitely increasing.

In short, user expectations no matter the device are for very fast performance. Many sites, especially on smartphones and tablets, continue to be slow and disappoint consumers on a regular basis. Bottom line: Keynote’s research shows that the ‘expectation gap’ for performance has tightened considerably across platforms, and vendors ignore these increased expectations for blazing fast performance at their own peril.

The Keynote Survey Reveals:

- Mobile Web Frustrations - When asked about frustrating mobile Web experiences over the past two months, two-thirds of smartphone users cited “Web pages slow to load.” The next largest pain point felt by nearly half of the panel was “Website not optimized for smartphone.”

- 60 percent of tablet users expect to wait less than three seconds to get to a website, while 48 percent of PC Web users want download speeds faster than two seconds.

- Smartphone user expectations are also high, with 64 percent wanting a website to load within four seconds and 82 percent of respondents wanting a mobile website to load within five seconds. When expectations are compared to reality, as viewed on Keynote performance indices, it’s easy to see why slow load times are concerning.

- Brands should beware: 16 percent of mobile users will not return or wait for your website to load if it takes too long and six percent will go to a competitor’s website.

- 29 percent of respondents spend at least 1-2 hours browsing the Internet from their smartphone , with 37% of tablet users logging that time as well.

The top five activities on smartphones include accessing local information such as maps and event locations (88 percent), searching for general information, (82 percent), participating in social media or social networking sites (76 percent), reading news and entertainment (75 percent) and finding local services, like ATMs or stores (74 percent).

Tablet use painted a somewhat different profile. News and Entertainment are accessed most (79 percent) and searching for information (77 percent), watching videos (76 percent), accessing location information (75 percent) and participating in social networks (75 percent) round out the top five activities on tablet devices. While tablet users were no more likely to do banking when compared to a smartphone (50 percent v. 56 percent), they were much more likely to purchase something (62 percent v. 47 percent) or book travel (41 percent v. 29 percent).

“This survey reveals that a majority of mobile users are choosing to consume on-the-go information through their mobile browsers, while personal tasks like email and banking are often accessed through mobile apps whether on smartphones or on tablets,” said Don Aoki, Sr. VP of Professional Services at Keynote. “Mobile consumers have options on how they can access and consume their digital content. For brands, it’s critical to integrate and develop mobile strategies that are viable across multiple types of mobile devices, and to evaluate the experience of smartphone and tablet users through online research tools like Keynote WebEffective.”

Keynote Competitive Research surveyed a panel of 5,388 panelists on a ten minute, 25-50 question survey on device ownership and usage preferences in mobile. Of the respondents, 3,145 were smartphone users and 1,976 were tablet users. The survey was conducted in the first half of 2012.

Research was conducted with Keynote WebEffective, an online research tool for website user experience testing that captures customers’ complete online experience, from desktops, smartphones and tablets.

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