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Mobile users put off by slow page load speeds

05 November 2015 - 11:38 by Paul Tissington

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People who carry out safe shopping online from smartphones and tablets are fairly fussy about site performance, with a new report finding that almost half of mobile shoppers are disappointed if pages take longer than two seconds to load.

This is according to analysis carried out by NuBlue, which also points to the fact that half of all traffic generated by e-commerce sites is now being channelled through portable gadgets, rather than desktop machines.

Globally, there are now over 1.2 billion people who take advantage of mobile devices for internet access, with web browsing being an especially popular activity. And device ownership is increasing at an incredibly rate, with a typical household now containing an average of 7.4 devices.

This suggests that entire families are not only taking possession of a smartphone each, but that tablets are also a popular choice, with prices falling to a low enough point to allow multiple models to sit under the same roof.

Because each of these devices will rely on internet access for most of their functionalities, more and more people are coming to expect excellent performance from e-commerce sites.

The technical limitations of mobile devices, coupled with the potentially erratic nature of wireless connectivity, can mean that page load speeds are slower than desired. But there are also things that sites can do to make things easier for mobile visitors, who in many cases, will represent the majority of inbound traffic.

Cutting down on the number of superfluous elements, including high-res images and media content, can improve page load speed, while also enabling people to carry out safe shopping online on smartphones without having the experience compromised. And as more consumers adopt 4G handsets, performance should be improved on the connectivity side of the coin.