The 3-Second Rule: Holiday Shoppers Turned Off by Slow Mobile Sites


A heads-up to retailers: 36 percent of smartphone/tablet users will abandon their online shopping carts if a mobile site or app takes longer than three seconds to load this holiday season. Additionally, that percentage increases to 45 percent for consumers between the ages of 18 and 34, says a shopping survey from Compuware APM in Detroit.

“A few years ago, you could wait a few seconds for search results on your laptop or desktop,” says Blair Drenner, vice president of solution strategy for Compuware APM. “Now, if you don’t get (those results) within a second, you’re pretty displeased.”

The report — which found that nearly 50 percent of smartphone/tablet users intend to use their mobile devices to search for and/or buy gifts during the upcoming holiday season — also discovered that 29 percent of smartphone/tablet users who have a poor online shopping experience are likely to complain on social media. That likelihood rises to 40 percent for users between the ages of 18 and 34.

“I think everyone has heard the various statistics (about social media), like you need seven positives to reverse a negative comment,” Drenner says. “Word of mouth is going to have a direct bottom line impact on sales, returning business, and so forth.”

Of the smartphone/tablet users surveyed, 36 percent predicted they will do more shopping on their devices this year compared to 2012. The younger the consumer, the more likely he or she is to shop by smartphone or tablet. In fact, 66 percent of smartphone/tablet users age 18 to 34 years will tap their devices for holiday shopping this season, with 53 percent predicting they will do buy more on their smartphone/tablet than last year.

The study, conducted by Harris Interactive for Compuware APM, surveyed 2,025 U.S. adults age 18 and older, including 1,191 who are smartphone and/or tablet users. To read the full report, click here.