Slow Webpage Load Times Plague Smartphone, Tablet Owners

August 9, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Mobile Phone

keynote-webpage-problems-mobile-users-august2012.pngTwo-thirds of smartphone and tablet owners say they have experienced slow webpage load times at some point in the past 3 months while using their device, per results from a Keynote Systems survey [pdf] released in August 2012. This is the most commonly-experienced problem for these device owners, ahead of websites not being optimized for smartphones, and loading errors (each at 48%). The study also indicates that tablet owners expect pages to load more quickly than smartphone owners.

Indeed, 60% of tablet owners expect to wait 3 seconds (29%) or less (31%) for a webpage to load, compared to 44% of smartphone owners. Laptop and desktop owners, though, are the most impatient, with roughly three-quarters expecting to wait 3 seconds (26%) or less (48%).

Long Load Times Drive Some Away

If a webpage accessed by a mobile device takes too long to load, a plurality of smartphone and tablet visitors (44%) typically refresh the page, while 21% close the page and try again later and 12% wait for the page to load. Even so, slow load times can drive some mobile visitors away: 16% said they typically close the page and give up, while 6% go to a competitor’s website.

These mobile device users appear quite patient when compared to respondents to a Compuware survey released in March 2012. According to that study, 70% of tablet users said that a website should load as quickly or faster on their tablet than on their PC. And when faced with a problematic website, 49% say they would be less likely to visit the site again, 46% would visit a competitor’s site, and one-third would be less likely to purchase from the company.

Many Complain of Inefficient Sites

Data from Keynote Systems’ “2012 Mobile User Survey” indicates that a significant proportion of smartphone and tablet owners also report problems with webpages once they’ve loaded. In the past 3 months, 46% said they have had difficulty interacting with a webpage, 44% complained that navigation on a website was difficult, and 36% said the website didn’t have the functionality expected.

Much of this may be tied back to the 48% who said that they have encountered websites not optimized for smartphones, an unsurprising result given Chief Marketer survey results from June showing that only 48% of marketers either have optimized their main website for viewing over mobile browsers (31%), or run a separate mobile-specific website (17%).

Other Findings:

  • 40% of smartphone owners responding to the Keynote Systems survey said they browse the web from their device for more than 1 hour a day.
  • 55% of tablet owners said they browse for more than 1 hour a day, with 19% browsing for 3 hours or more.
  • 86% of desktop and laptop owners said they browse the web from their computer for more than 1 hour a day, including 52% who do so for at least 3 hours daily.
  • 55% of respondents use mobile applications for more than 1 hour daily. 39% do so for 1-2 hours a day.

About the Data: The Keynote Systems survey was conducted in H1 2012 among 5,388 panelists from the Keynote Research Panel. 3,145 respondents were smartphone users, and 1,976 were tablet users.

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