Consumer Expectations are Increasing, but Mobile Sites are Getting Slower

Today we released the findings of a new survey that shows global consumers’ expectations for mobile and application performance are not being met, but their expectations for mobile website speed continue to increase.

In an earlier post we noted that we commissioned Equation Research to conduct a study in 2009 of mobile users’ expectations and how they characterized their mobile web experiences. The key take away from  2009: the mobile web was disappointing end users who had high expectations for mobile web performance and little patience for poor performing sites.

We commissioned a follow-on study to find out if end users’ mobile web expectations are being met and if their experiences have improved. The new survey of more than 4,000 global users across the globe titled “What  Users Want from Mobile,” reveals that global mobile users’ expectations are not being met, with a majority of users experiencing slow or unreliable mobile and application performance.

As the survey findings illustrate, although mobile users expect quick, anytime transactions that work flawlessly every time, that’s not what they’re experiencing.

Today’s mobile users demand exceptional web experiences and highly satisfying, convenient, on-the-go mobile site speeds regardless of their mode of access. However, mobile sites are getting slower, not faster. The average m-commerce site loads in 5.47 seconds – a year ago that number was 4.73 seconds.

Despite the massive adoption by consumers of mobile phones, and more recently sophisticated phones that can access the Internet, only about one third of firms in a recent Forrester Research survey have had a mobile strategy in place for more than a year.

For the majority of respondents, mobile was mainly seen as a way to increase customer engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty with just 2% expected to generate more than $10 million in mobile revenues for 2010.

While companies are assigning clear  objectives to the emerging mobile platform, 23% of respondents still consider their primary objective with mobile to be to “test and learn.”

With mobile commerce predicted to top $6 billion by the end of this year (2011) and expected to reach $31 billion by 2016 and worldwide mobile commerce expected to hit $119 billion in 2015, a ‘test and learn’ strategy may prevent companies from taking advantage of the opportunity provided by increased mobile access.

Businesses that embrace the mobile opportunity, offer the most usable features, and provide the fastest, most consistent performance will emerge as mobile leaders in their category.