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If online merchants hope to win the minds and dollars of mobile users, they need to speed up their acts. If their websites takes too long to load, many smartphone and tablet users will leave and never return, a new survey shows. And some will run directly into the arms of a competitor's willing website.
The mobile Web can be great for providing instant gratification, but it's also fraught with frustration, according to a survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults conducted by Keystone Competitive Research. When asked about frustrating mobile Web experiences over the past two months, two-thirds of smartphone users blamed Web pages slow to load.
The next largest pain point felt by nearly half of the respondents was "website not optimized for smartphone."
Smartphone user expectations are high across-the-board, with 64 percent wanting a website to load within four seconds and 82 percent wanting it to open within five seconds. Tablet users are equally demanding: 60 percent of them expect to wait less than three seconds to get to a website.
With the mobile Web, the race truly goes to the swift, the survey found. Sixteen percent of mobile users will not return or wait for a website to load if it takes too long and 6 percent will go to a competitor's website.
The top five activities on smartphones include accessing local information such as maps and event locations (88 percent), searching for general information, (82 percent), participating in social media or social networking sites (76 percent), reading news and entertainment (75 percent) and finding local services, like ATMs or stores (74 percent).
Tablet use painted a somewhat different profile. News and entertainment are accessed most (79 percent) and searching for information (77 percent), watching videos (76 percent), accessing location information (75 percent) and participating in social networks (75 percent) round out the top five activities on tablet devices. While tablet users were no more likely to do banking when compared to smartphone users (50 percent versus 56 percent), they were much more likely to purchase something (62 percent versus 47 percent) or book travel (41 percent versus 29 percent).
"This survey reveals that a majority of mobile users are choosing to consume on-the-go information through their mobile browsers, while personal tasks like email and banking are often accessed through mobile apps whether on smartphones or on tablets," said Don Aoki, senior vice president of professional services at Keynote. "Mobile consumers have options on how they can access and consume their digital content. For brands, it’s critical to integrate and develop mobile strategies that are viable across multiple types of mobile devices, and to evaluate the experience of smartphone and tablet users."
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