The top 100 US retail websites (as ranked by Alexa.com) have some work to do in improving their mobile site performance, although there are some encouraging signs, finds Radware in a new report. From an iPhone 4s, the median mobile site took 4.33 seconds to load, far quicker than the median full site page load time of 7.84, but still well below Google’s recommendation of 1 second or less. The researchers point out that some mobile sites aren’t offering users the option to view the full site.
Specifically, 80% of the companies tracked have a mobile-specific site, up slightly from 76% last year. But, of those mobile sites, 21% don’t offer full site access. That’s a mistake, say the study authors, because many mobile sites don’t offer the same experience and content as full sites. Citing 3rd-party data, the researchers argue that many mobile users want to visit the full site, also pointing to the case of one online retailer which found the bulk of its revenue from mobile users coming from those visiting its full site on their devices.
When it comes to tablets, the study finds that 94% of the sites serve the full site to the iPad, with the remainder offering full-site access. Those numbers are significantly different for Android tablets: 69% serve the full-site access to these tablets, while 28% offer full-site access and the remaining 3% confine the experience to a mobile site.
- Median load times across 5 smartphones ranged from a low of 3.06 seconds for the Samsung Galaxy Note to a high of 11.35 seconds on the iPhone 4.
- As for tablets, while median load times over WiFi were faster on the Samsung Galaxy 2 (4.85 seconds) than the iPad 2 (7.24 seconds), the iPad 3 loaded more than twice as fast as its predecessor, at a median of 3.06 seconds.
About the Data: Radware describes its methodology as follows:
“The test group included 100 leading ecommerce sites, as ranked by Alexa.com. Each site’s home page (both the full site and the m.site, when an m.site was offered) was tested 10 times per device across five smartphones ”“ iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 ”“ and three tablets ”“ the iPad 2, iPad 3, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. The median results were used in our analysis.
The tests were conducted over a four-week period, from Tuesday, August 6 to Friday, August 30, 2013.
The iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 were tested over a 4G connection using their native browsers. The iPad 2, iPad 3 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 were tested over a Wifi connection using their native browsers.
For all tests, devices were positioned in the same location, in an attempt to mitigate the latency impact caused by location changes. For all tests, devices and radios were at full power and screens were not allowed to lock during testing.
For both smartphones and tablets, we calculated median results across these metrics:
- load time (mobile site)
- load time (full site)
- resource requests (mobile site)
- resource requests (full site)
Sites that did not yield a result were marked as null in the test results.”