The next great leap in communication might be mobile, but consumers are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with mobile Web connections and content. Seventy-five percent have experienced slow load times, and more than half reported that the Web site content was either too large or small for the size of their mobile phone's screen.
The survey was published by Gomez, Inc., which specializes in Web application experience management. The study was conducted by Equation Research on behalf of Gomez. It included more than 1,000 mobile Web users and can be found here.
Additional Key Findings About Mobile Content.
• 85 percent of consumers said they are only willing to retry a mobile Web site one, sometimes two, times if it does not work.
• 61 percent of consumers said they are unlikely to return to a Web site if they had trouble accessing it from their phone.
• 40 percent of consumers said they would very likely visit a competitor's Web site in order to find the information they want.
"While mobile users may accept sites that are 'light' on richness and small in form factor, they are evidently not willing to sacrifice performance," said Matt Poepsel, Gomez's VP of performance strategies. "The mobile Web is all about convenience — the Web in your pocket — and slow mobile pages contradict that benefit."
There Is More To The Story About Mobile.
Despite experiences, mobile Web users have exceedingly high expectations with 50 percent willing to wait only 6-10 seconds or less for a Web page to load on their phone before giving up. Only one in five is willing to wait more than 20 seconds.
The high level of expectation has been perpetuated by mobile phone companies, almost all of which market themselves with the pretense that their network is faster and more reliable. Despite the cause of the evaluated expectations, mobile Web users are most likely to blame the site over their providers.
While solutions are largely absent from the study, there are opportunities and alternatives. For the mobile and tech industry, there is an increasing need to deliver faster devices on networks capable of carrying an increased load. For advertising agencies, the solution is to design simpler, faster loading sites rather than robust sites that increase load times. Or, as an alternative, build in mobile counterparts.
There are, of course, other solutions. Companies can augment their Web communication and marketing programs directing consumers to either custom applications on the iPhone or by using any number of social networks to communicate with customers. RSS readers and networks like Facebook and Twitter are well suited for engaging consumers on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
Without question, content portability will become a decisive factor in communication over the next two years. As of July 2009, there were more than 56.9 million mobile devices, up from 42.5 million in July 2008. According to the study, eBay is an early success story in providing mobile content. Its iPhone application generated $400 million in sales since its launch in 2008.