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Milliseconds Make Millions

A study on how improvements in mobile site speed positively affect a brands bottom line

Prioritising mobile site performance metrics continues to be a challenge for most brands. Should the focus be on design, content, functionality, UX or perhaps something else? With mCommerce estimated to double between 2019 – 2023, ultimately accounting for ¾ of total ecommerce sales, it is essential that we understand the correlation between mobile site metrics and mobile site performance.

Key results:

Over a 4 week period we analysed mobile site data from retail, travel, luxury and lead generation brands across Europe and the US. The purpose of the study was to isolate speed as a performance metric and to observe if there was a true correlation to conversion funnel progress, spend, page views and bounce rates.

Based on a 0.1s natural mobile site speed improvement, we observed the following key improvements to conversions and customer engagement:

  • Mobile site speed improvements had a direct correlation to improved funnel progression.
  • A positive change in the number of page views, conversion rates and average order value across all verticals.
  • Retail conversions increased by 8.4% and average order value increased by 9.2%.
  • Travel conversions increased by 10.1% and average order value increased by 1.9%.
  • Luxury brand page views per session increased by 8.6%.
  • Lead generation information pages bounce rate improved by 8.3%

Rising customer expectations

Consumer expectations have risen dramatically in the last decade, and will continue to do so. In response, consumer-centricity continues to evolve as one of the most critical and influential business principles. Competition, technology and the evolution of digital channels are amongst the key drivers, however, arguably the main catalyst has been the increase in consumer expectations, or rather the decrease in tolerance of a mediocre experience.

The need for speed

Increasing expectations and use of smartphones are amplifying the need for mobile speed. To stay ahead, brands need to make site speed a priority across the organisation. They should adopt a mobile-first mind-set; introducing the right processes and allocating resources to constantly monitor and optimise their site speed.

The competitive gap will widen between brands who provide great mobile experience and those who don’t.

What do you need to do next?

Investing in mobile site speed will help unlock revenue and brand loyalty. There is no reason why every brand providing a mobile experience can’t capitalise on these opportunities if they take steps from cultural, strategic and tactical perspectives.

Keeping your speed status and setting the appropriate strategy:

1. Understand the speed status: You need to know how your site is currently performing in a stand-alone context and also in comparison to your competitors.

2. Be clear on the potential impact of mobile site speed on the bottom line: Being equipped with this data will help you to sell and prove the validity of considering speed as a primary performance metric.

3. Adopt a mobile-first strategy: Mobile-first is essentially a design strategy, more appropriate for satisfying today’s consumers than the responsive approach.

Making it happen

4. Identify speed as one of the primary performance metrics: It’s essential to build consensus to make speed a priority KPI and performance metric.

5. Introduce page speed budget to project teams and clients: Page speed budget or web performance budget is a set of constraints that project teams will use to ensure the mobile site meets performance standards and loads quickly across devices and platforms.

6. Use the right tools in the right way: Make sure you are using the right tools for both measurement and reporting. Your analytics package needs to be set up correctly, with a strong focus on conversion point, funnels and appropriate KPIs.

7. Create the right culture with the right people: Nurture a performance-centric culture where speed is considered a priority metric by leadership, strategists, developers, designers, content practitioners and project managers.


Read the full report here.

This report has been commissioned by Google and prepared by Deloitte Ireland LLP, based on data and statistical information provided by Fifty-Five.

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