Firms fail mobile web users

26 July 2011

NEW YORK: Many companies are failing to meet the expectations of mobile web users around the world, a study has revealed.

Compuware, the consultancy, commissioned Equation Research, the insights provider, to survey 4,000 mobile web users from Australia, China, France, Germany, India, the UK and US. The report found that 71% of respondents thought websites accessed via wireless handsets should load as fast as those on desktop or laptop PCs.

This figure had increased from the 58% recorded in similar analysis published by Compuware in 2009.

During the same period, the proportion of contributors agreeing loading speeds would probably be a "bit slower" on a mobile fell from 31% to 22%.

Equally, the number of interviewees asserting that phones should offer faster access than PCs or laptops rose from 12% to 22%.

At present, though, 46% of the sample suggested their phone performed less effectively than computers.

Upon assessing how long a website should take to be completely accessible on a wireless device 59% put this timeframe at three seconds. Ratings here hit 73% in China, 68% in Germany, 58% in India and the US, 57% with reference to France, 50% for Australia, and 48% regarding the UK.

More broadly, 79% of consumers worldwide said they would leave a mobile site if a page was not fully functional after five seconds.

However, according to Compuware 77% of corporate mobile platforms currently fall short in this area.

Overall, 57% of adults had previously faced problems while using mobile websites, a score standing at 47% for applications.

Among the most commonly-encountered issues when seeking to access a mobile site was slow loading, on 38%, a total coming in at 32% discussing apps.

A further 18% of those questioned said a mobile site had frozen or returned an error message, reaching 30% for applications.

Formatting errors, sub-standard functionality and a lack of availability were among the other obstacles mentioned.

Some 43% of customers would endeavour to access a mobile website on two additional occasions if it did not work first time, 30% may do so once more, and 13% were not willing to make any extra attempts.

Another 15% proved ready to try and log on three or more times, and 7% could undertake four or more such efforts before giving up.

Exactly 46% of the survey community were "unlikely" to revisit to a website which had failed to load properly on their last attempt, and 57% said they would not recommend such a site.

Meanwhile, one third would opt for a competitor's site rather than returning to the portal they had initially hoped to view.

Approximately 80% of the mobile web audience were also likely to access websites more often from their phone if it was as quick and reliable as the PC or laptop alternative, the study added.

"User expectations for mobile continue to increase, but companies are still not meeting mobile users' needs for fast and reliable experiences," Steve Tack, CTO of Compuware APM, said.

"Poor performance is preventing many companies from taking advantage of the opportunities being provided by increased mobile access."

Data sourced from Compuware; additional content by Warc staff