mTail Holiday Trauma

mobile user angry_137348504-thumb-380xauto-2378As the holiday shopping season wraps up, analysts will have even more evidence of one of mobile eTail’s most vexing trends: mobile web load times suffer severely during the holidays, when consumers expect the most from their chosen retail brands. Kissmetrics released a study earlier this year about consumer habits surrounding the load times of web apps, that highlights the importance of fast load times:

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

With the 2013 mean mobile load time already at more than 7 seconds, a holiday spike can be debilitating for a retailer. Apart from heavily beefing up your server rack, here are some common tips for decreasing load times on the mobile web:

  • Images should not be any larger or higher in resolution than they need to be
  • Enable browser caching to speed up load times for repeat visitors, but be aware that mobile web browsers generally have small caches
  • HTML, CSS, and JS should be no more lengthy or complex than it needs to be. It can also be compressed through a variety of minification programs online, if you’re comfortable submitting your company’s code into a form.

Those who have resolved to get their holiday shopping done from their mobile device will grit their teeth and wade through figgy pudding-slow load speeds. Anyone on the fence about the convenience of mobile shopping – or online shopping altogether-  may decide it’s not worth the bother, and that’s not a risk worth taking.

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