Mobile Sites Frustrate Users, May Hurt Brands

Consumers aren't getting the rich experience they're looking for when it comes to mobile Web sites, and it could be hurting brands in the process.

According to a survey of 1,001 mobile Web users surveyed on behalf of Web application experience management company Gomez Inc., two-thirds of mobile Web users said they had trouble when trying to access a Web site on their phones. Nearly 75% of them said slow load times was the biggest problem, although other complaints included Web site content that was either too large or too small for their phone's screen and that the site froze, crashed or received an error while loading.

The discontent could be related to a number of factors, ranging from the handset type to the consumer's network to the construction of a mobile site, says Matt Poepsel, vice president of performance strategies. Regardless, the end result is still the same. "It's a complicated thing to have a mobile application work well," he tells Marketing Daily. "But experiences are falling short of consumer expectations."



And they're falling short at the expense of a company's long-term relationship with consumers. According to the survey, 85% of consumers said they are unlikely to try a mobile Web site more than twice if it doesn't work initially. More than three-fifths (61%) also said they were unlikely to return to a site that they had trouble accessing from their phone and 40% said they would visit a competitor's Web site.

Moreover, more than a quarter said they would tell friends, family and co-workers about their experience and 23% said they'd be less likely to purchase from that company in the future.

"It's not enough to say the mobile Web is going to happen; companies have to get out in front of it and understand it," Poepsel says. "That's the danger for companies that don't have a mobile [presence]. That doesn't mean your customers aren't looking for it."

In essence, consumers are looking for their mobile experiences to match up to the ones they have from their personal computers. According to the survey, 80% of consumers aid they would use the mobile Web more often if it was as fast and reliable as a PC. Half of consumers said they would give up on a mobile Web site if it took longer than 10 seconds to load. Nearly three-quarters expect to complete simple transactions like checking their bank balance in less than a minute, according to the survey.

"The mobile consumer feels they've made a compromise, but what they want in exchange is convenience," Poepsel says.

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