Data Findings: Mobile Site Redirects Add 8 Seconds to Page Loads for Top E-Retailers

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BOSTON – July 10, 2014 – Severe inefficiencies in how some of the top e-retailers' sites load on a mobile device add more than 8 seconds to the page load process, according to new data analysis from Yottaa.
 
In its ongoing study of the top 500 Internet retail companies, Boston-based mobile and web optimization company Yottaa found that mobile redirects run rampant among the top 500 e-retailers; 39 percent of the top retailers' mobile sites redirect users two or more times before beginning to load, and one out of every 10 of the top Internet retail sites redirects users three or more times. Mobile sites with four redirects make users wait more than 16 seconds until a site renders – that's 8 seconds longer compared to sites with no mobile redirects. According to Aberdeen Group research, even just a one-second delay in site response time can reduce conversions by 7 percent. 
 
Yottaa's analysis concludes there is a crucial "redirect gap" that costs e-commerce companies conversions and sales, primarily because of inconsistencies or workarounds on the back-end of sites. 
 
"Based on the data, it's apparent that the configuration of the commerce web is trailing significantly behind the significance of the channel," said Ari Weil, vice president of products at Yottaa. "E-commerce businesses need to closely analyze how they can make up lost ground as seconds tick away during long page load times."
 
According to Yottaa's preliminary data testing the top 500 retail sites, it takes more than 10 seconds to render the average site on an iPhone using 3G connectivity. The time it takes to display the page completely clocks in at more than 20 seconds.
 
"Retailers should look for solutions that provide mobile redirection capabilities," Weil added. "This functionality has been typically supplied by their domain provider. However, some providers don't offer enough features to properly handle mobile redirection. These clunky redirects contribute to long load times on mobile devices, which ultimately costs brands conversions."
 
Ideally, a website using an "m." web address on a mobile device would jump directly from its base URL to the unique mobile version in just one step. But this seldom happens, even among the heavy hitters in the retail web space. While testing the top 500 retailers on an iPhone device (running more than a dozen samples for each retailer) Yottaa found that retailers using unique mobile sites – 150 out of the top 500 e-retailers use unique m. sites – redirect users an average of 3.03 times before landing on the right site. Eighty-six percent of m. sites have two or more redirects. 
 
Here are some additional takeaways from Yottaa's preliminary data analysis on mobile usage for the top 500 e-retailers:
 
 Time to render was more than 8 seconds longer for sites with four redirects compared to those with none (sites with no redirect took 7.7 seconds to render on an iPhone using 3G connectivity compared to 16.1 seconds for those with four redirects).
 
 There was only a 1 second difference between sites with one redirect and those with three (9.7 seconds to render versus 10.8 seconds).
 
 On the whole, the average time it took to render on an iPhone using 3G connectivity was substantially longer compared to a desktop (10.4 seconds compared to 1.89 seconds on a desktop computer using a Chrome browser). 
 
Yottaa's data analysis of mobile and web optimization of top retail sites is ongoing. The company is compiling a comprehensive report of the data and will unveil its findings later this year. 
 
About Yottaa
Yottaa is a cloud-based service built for eCommerce and IT professionals to manage, optimize and secure user experiences across the wide breadth of devices, browsers, geographies and bandwidth speeds that make managing site visitors a real challenge. Yottaa's platform combines content delivery, front-end optimization technologies and layers in patented technology that provides a means to control how fast and in what circumstance each portion of each page should render based on a user's device and browser.
 
Providing a single service that requires no code changes and implements in three days or less, Yottaa gives its customers instant control over the many thousands of components on their site. On average, Yottaa's solutions help customers improve conversion rates by 20 percent in less than four weeks. PCM (formerly PC Mall), Clarks Shoes and Yankee Retail are among the many companies of all sizes who trust Yottaa to ensure their web and mobile channels perform optimally.
 
Visit www.yottaa.com to learn what Yottaa can do for your conversion rates.