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A black and white line drawing of a man of color using a mobile phone that illustrates how mobile site speed increases site usage.

Anyone who’s ever abandoned a mobile site for being too slow is familiar with the negative impact of a sluggish user experience. And more than ever, as consumers look to fill their needs on mobile during the current crisis, a fast experience is critical. In fact, a new study1 provides a much clearer view of the positive effect mobile page 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 (for example, 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 page speed opportunities

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

1. Faster sites mean 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 travel luxury lead gen

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 generation brands studied, where a mobile speed improvement of just 0.1 second for an informational page decreased bounce rate by 8.3% for 1 in 2 lead generation sites.

Where do I start?

Businesses need to prioritize a user-first culture to see the benefits of improving site speed. Today’s users are looking to mobile, and it’s critical to be there for them with fast experiences. Here are some tips to get you there:

  1. Start by understanding your mobile page speed by using tools like Test My Site.
  2. Analyze the impact of speed on your bottom line using your own data, or using the report data as a benchmark. You can also use Test My Site to see how your mobile site stacks up to your competitors.
  3. Encourage your senior leadership team to make mobile speed a company priority and to allocate the necessary resources.
  4. Establish a strategy to improve site speed, including a speed budget and shared mobile speed KPIs that your commercial and technical leadership teams can agree and focus on.
  5. Track your site speed and link it to your analytics data to see the impact of speed improvements.
  6. Don’t stop at speed. Today’s consumers expect experiences that are not only fast but personal and easy to use. Ensure your teams are always working to holistically improve your mobile experience.

For more tips and ideas on how to optimize your mobile site or app, visit our mobile collection, or use Test My Site to get custom recommendations on how you can work toward a fast, seamless, and personal mobile experience.

You can also access the research results in full by downloading the report.