How speeding up your mobile site can improve your bottom line

Antoine Boulte / June 2020

Anyone who’s ever abandoned a mobile site for being too slow is familiar with the negative impact of a sluggish user experience. But a new study1 provides a much clearer view of the positive effect mobile site speed can have on performance metrics that matter to marketers, including conversion rates, average order values, and even page views.

The research, commissioned by Google and conducted by 55 and Deloitte, looked at 37 leading European and American brand sites across four verticals: retail, luxury, travel, and lead generation (e.g. insurance or car dealership sites). Mobile load times were monitored hour-by-hour for 30 days at the end of last year, with the results consolidated in real time against a range of typical mobile purchase journey metrics.

3 mobile speed opportunities

The study showed that there are significant benefits for brands in speeding up their mobile sites.

1. Faster sites ensure more customers will reach checkout

Improving site speed increases progression rates on almost every step of the mobile purchase journey — from the homepage to the checkout — for the majority of brands.

Impact of site speed on mobile funnel progression rates

Retail - How speeding up your mobile site can improve your bottom line Travel- How speeding up your mobile site can improve your bottom line Luxury - How speeding up your mobile site can improve your bottom line Lead gen - How speeding up your mobile site can improve your bottom line

2. Faster sites encourage people to stay longer and purchase more

Decreasing mobile site load times by just one tenth of a second resulted in major performance gains. Specifically, conversion rates went up by 8.4% for retail and 10.1% for travel.

A 0.1-second improvement of mobile sites speed increases conversion rates by 8.4% for retail sites and 10.1% for travel sites.

In retail alone, the average order value grew by 9.2%, while luxury sites saw an 8% rise in page views per session.

3. Faster sites have lower bounce rates

One in five retail and luxury sites studied saw their homepage bounce rates improve by 0.6% and 0.2% respectively. The results were even more profound for the lead gen brands studied, where a mobile speed improvement of just 0.1 second for an informational page decreased bounce rate by 8.3% for one in two lead gen sites.

Build a mobile-first culture

To see the benefits from site speed improvement, businesses need a mobile-oriented culture. Here are some tips to help you get there:

  1. Start by understanding the impact of speed on your bottom line using your own data, or using the report data as a benchmark.
  2. If the impact is significant, encourage your senior leadership team to make mobile speed a company priority, and to allocate the necessary resources.
  3. Establish a strategy to improve site speed; including a speed budget and shared mobile speed KPIs that both your commercial and technical leadership teams can agree and focus on.
  4. Track your site speed and link it to your analytics data to see the impact of speed improvements.

For more tips and ideas on how to optimise your mobile site or app, visit our mobile collection. You can also access the report’s results in full by downloading it below.

Your mobile-first transformation handbook