Study: Big Name Retailer’s Mobile Sites Prove Unstable, Slow For Consumers

Study- Big Name Retailer's Mobile Sites Prove Unstable, Slow For ConsumersA new consumer survey has found that large retailers’ mobile sites have been deemed slow, unresponsive and unstable by respondents- including sites from the likes of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Costco, Dell, Foot Locker, Musician’s Friend, Sears, Target and Wal-mart.

The survey, conducted by Keynote Systems, measured the performance of ten top retailers’ mobile sites, including Best Buy, Dell and Amazon, in three key areas; homepage load time, product search and product information requests.  In the end, it was determined that improvements need to be made across the board, even with those that performed better than others.

Availability and reliability of top mobile sites were areas of most concern, with Foot Locker’s mobile site earning the top mark with 97.6% availability.  Out of the ten surveyed, only one other mobile site achieved availability higher than 90%, with three sites even falling below 80%.  To put it in perspective, the study indicated that consumers expect around 99.5% availability overall, meaning all top ten sites fell well below consumer expectations.

Load times, in terms of homepage loading, product and site-wide search, etc. was another aspect under scrutiny, with consumers surveyed expecting a mobile site to load in around 1-2 seconds total.  Of the top ten mobile sites, the fastest homepage load time belonged to Best Buy, which loaded in 8.3 seconds, while Wal-mart had the fastest search results page, taking around 4.5 seconds.  Foot Locker performed the fastest product information request at 5.7 seconds, proving overall that its mobile site was the best of those surveyed.

It’s an interesting survey, though slightly skewed due to the fact that it surveyed mobile users in New York and San Francisco, and only those with Webkit-enabled mobile browsers.  Still, retailers of this caliber should know and understand that their mobile Web presence is very important, and making the experience as smooth and quick as possible will only help their brand.