site speed

Mobile web: lack of functionality and site speed seen as main UX issues

A lack of functionality and slow loading times are among the main usability issues with mobile sites, according to a new study.

Sites that aren’t optimised for mobile screens are also a lead cause of frustration, yet many businesses (yes, including Econsultancy) are still dragging their feet on launching a mobile site or moving to responsive design.

However more often than not mobile sites offer exactly the same features and functionality as desktop versions, it’s just scaled down for the smaller screen size.

Therefore it could be that consumers simply aren’t aware that the mobile web offers the same browsing experience as desktop, or that poorly designed mobile sites are giving people the impression that they offer limited functionality.

Load times for top retail sites slump 22% in the past year: infographic

Load times among America’s top retail sites have increased by 22% in just one year from an average 5.94 seconds in December 2011 to 7.25 seconds in December 2012.

The findings, which come from a report by Radware, are bad news for ecommerce sites considering the importance of site speed for traffic and conversions.

A previous survey from Tagman found that a one second delay in page-load can cause 7% loss in customer conversions, while a separate survey from Akamai revealed that 40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.

To find out how the top sites were performing Radware tested the load times (in Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 17, and Chrome 23) and page composition of the 2,000 top US retail web sites in December 2012. 

It then compared this data versus previous benchmark tests performed on the same set of sites, dating back to December 2010.

Shop Direct and Tesco have fastest sites among Europe’s top retailers: report

Shop Direct and Tesco have the fastest websites among Europe’s top retailers, according to a new report from Radware and Level 3.

According to data included in the white paper, 57% of online shoppers will abandon a site if it hasn’t loaded after three seconds.

So Radware conducted a survey of the IR400 European ecommerce sites to see if they met this expectation.

Each site was tested using a range of browsers but the findings in the report are for Google Chrome, which is the most widely adopted browser in the EU.

Overall, the median web page load time was 7.04 seconds, which is double the time it would take for a majority of consumers to abandon their purchase.

As mentioned the research found that UK retailers Shop Direct and Tesco had the fastest load times at 1.69 seconds and 1.72 seconds respectively.

Which of the top 10 US retailers has the slowest website?

Nobody likes a slow website, so it’s extremely important that businesses keep page loading times to a minimum.

You can read the precise stats in our post about site speed case studies, tips and tools for improving your conversion rate, but essentially if you run a slow website you’ll start to lose both traffic and sales.

To draw attention to this issue, we’ve previously evaluated the top UK retailers using Google’s site speed tool, as well as several UK newspapers.

So it only seemed fair that we also look at what Google thinks of the top 10 US retailers. And this time I also tested each of the sites using WebPageTest’s load speed tool.

Which of the top 10 UK retailers has the fastest website?

Maintaining a decent website speed while also plugging in all the necessary analytics, adverts and product promotions is no mean feat.

And losing even a few seconds on your load time can have an adverse impact on usability, conversions and SEO.

In fact, stats included in our recent post on how to improve site speed show that the average consumer expects sites to load in two seconds, and slow loading websites could cost retailers as much as £1.73bn in lost sales each year.

But help is at hand. Google has a free PageSpeed Insights tool that anyone can use to measure the load time of a particular website.