Gomez Releases Mobile Web Benchmark

For any retailer hoping to do business via mobile web this holiday season, having a fast-responding and functional site with low down-time is key. Research firm Gomez recently partnered with dotMobi and Internet Retailer Magazine to create a benchmark to understand how industry leaders perform on the mobile Web.

Leading the pack, Amazon’s site took just 2.8 seconds to respond, and was available 99.8 percent of the time. The benchmark was conducted between November 1 to 15 2009. It monitored web availability and load time of the home pages of 14 large retailers with qualifying mobile sites.

Target came in as the slowest mobile site, lagging behind with 7 second loads. The benchmark found that the average response time for the mobile sites tested was 4.7 seconds, a whole 50% slower than the response time of the retailer’s web counterparts.

While you may think that mobile web users would accept slower load times versus their web browsing experiences, the opposite may be true. If you’re looking to spread positive brand awareness by having a mobile web presence, it’s important to focus on the speed of your site. A recent Gomez survey of 1,000 mobile web users found that most people expect websites to load as quickly or faster on their mobile phones.

The survey also found that two out of three people have encountered problems accessing mobile websites, complaining mostly about slow load time. Of the survey takers, 85% say they are only willing to retry a mobile website two times or fewer if it does not work initially, and 40% say they’d likely visit a competitor’s mobile site instead.