Top 100 Multichannel Retailers’ Mobile Sites: 16 Load in Less Than 1 Second

TheSearchAgency-Top-Multichannel-Retailers-Page-Load-Speed-on-Smartphone-Nov2013Following up on its study of the mobile experience provided by Fortune 100 companies, The Search Agency has released new research evaluating the mobile sites of 100 of the largest multichannel retailers in the US. The results indicate that these retailers’ sites load on average more quickly than Fortune 100 companies’ sites (3.62 seconds and ~5 seconds, respectively), though only 16 loaded on an iPhone 4 more quickly than Google’s recommended threshold of 1 second. A separate report from Radware recently indicated that the median top 100 retail site (as ranked by Alexa) took 4.33 seconds to load on an iPhone 4s.

Interestingly, just 1 of the top 100 multichannel retailers evaluated by The Search Agency used responsive web design (RWD), with the vast majority – 91 – using dedicated mobile sites and the remaining 8 simply using the desktop version of the site.

Meanwhile, the page load time for that retailer using RWD was a plodding 13.55 seconds, even longer than it took to load the average desktop site (11.64 seconds). By contrast, those 91 with a dedicated mobile site averaged a load time of 2.81 seconds. (The Fortune 100 study also found the companies using responsive design to have the slowest load speed.)

Based on 5 weighted criteria (load speed; site format; calculated download speed; social media presence on the homepage; and application presence on the homepage), the average score for all companies was 3.17 on a 5-point scale, significantly better than the 2.31 average in the Fortune 100 study. REI boasted the best result on the mobile experience scorecard, with a score of 4.74, followed by Toys”R”Us (4.4) and CVS (4.3). Apple came in last with a score of just 0.68, a curious result given Apple’s strong mobile audience.

About the Data: A detailed methodology can be found in the research document linked to above.