W HI T E PA P ER : W EB P ER F O R M A NCE M A N A G EMEN TMOBILE IS ON THE MOVE. ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH #5: YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE FROM MARS — BUT YOU’REYOUR CUSTOMERS? FROM VENUSAfter years of eager anticipation, the mobile revolution is now Do you truly know your mobile customers? Without genuine insight,truly moving ahead. According to Morgan Stanley, the volume of you might be tempted, for example, to offer mobile users the regularmobile users will outstrip the number of desktop Internet users by web site that works well with your Internet customers. But most2014. By 2011, Nielsen expects the U.S. market will own more smartphones and feature phones cannot support the complex,smartphones — with advanced browsers and connectivity — than high-bandwidth Flash and Ajax applications at the heart of your site.ordinary “feature” phones. Further, your feature- and content-rich web site can pose numerous issues regarding usability, navigation or even screen real-estate onWHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BUSINESS? handheld devices.• Increased revenues: In 2009, eBay posted $600 million in mobile Should you rely on your regular site, offer an optimized mobile web commerce revenues. Just one year later, the company expects $1.5 site or create a mobile application? To arrive at the right answer — billion in mobile sales. and craft the most effective solution — you need to know:• Publisher and developer opportunities: Since its iPhone launch, • What devices do your customers use? BlackBerries? iPhones? Apple has generated five billion App Store downloads, paying over Droids? Something else? $1 billion to publishers and developers. • What networks are they on? What speed do they deliver?• Rapid growth: Within just 100 days, both Marriott and Pizza Hut • What are their usage patterns? Can you anticipate the peaks? realized more than $1 million in revenues from their respective mobile web sites, and according to IBM, Black Friday (Friday after • What about locations? Can you deliver consistent performance, Thanksgiving) traffic to retail web sites increased 50-fold year from Sausalito to Singapore? over year. • What is their context? Are they waiting on line? In a hurry? At the airport or in a cab?But as mobile opportunities increase, so do customer expectations.Unfortunately, many companies racing ahead with the mobile • Most importantly: Can customers complete key transactions?revolution are stumbling across a number of obstacles along the While on the move with one free hand in areas with spotty networkway to their goal: a consistent mobile web presence that satisfies connections?customers and encourages business growth. Customers are going to access your mobile service in the real worldThis paper will address the top five mobile web experience mistakes — their real world. You have to understand what that world is beforeyou may face on the road to success — and a model for ensuring you offer a mobile web site, application or SMS initiative that canperformance to keep your business in the running. succeed within it.“In the last 12 months, customers around the world haveordered more than $1 billion worth of products fromAmazon using a mobile device.” ——Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon TM
#4: YOUR MOBILE CONTENT IS OUT OF SIGHT — ANDOUT OF MINDAs in, your customers can’t find your mobile web sites, applications orSMS initiatives. And if they can’t find your mobile content or services,you’ve lost their business.For starters, this means automated redirects that recognize mobileusers and instantly lead them to the appropriate mobile content.GOOD VISIBILITY:Mobile users who search for a leading retailer gettwo options: a paid for PPC ad and an organiclisting — both of which lead to the appropriatemobile optimized web site. Figure 1: Sponsored and organic search engine links redirect an end user to a mobile optimized web site.BAD VISIBILITY:When iPhone 4 users type www.company-name.com, orclick an organic search listing, they get the full web site ofa leading airline; the automated redirect doesn’t recognizethe “www” prefix and fails to deliver the mobile site.It’s simple: If you don’t apply technology to ensure easyaccess to your mobile content, your mobile users will getlost — and they will tell your business to do the same. Figure 2: Sponsored and organic search engine links do not redirect to an existing mobile site, providing end users a non-optimized mobile web-site experience.
#3: YOU’RE NOT READY FOR PRIME TIMEIt’s just not good enough to be prepared for “ordinary” businessconditions. After all the expense of driving traffic and promoting yourmobile service, you have to be ready for peak traffic conditions wheninterest — and expectations — are at their height.When your mobile site or application is overwhelmed by extraordinaryactivity, potential customers face unbearably slow load times and avery unwelcomed message: “We’re currently experiencing high trafficvolume. As a result, we were not able to process your request. Pleasetry again.” Will they? Not likely.CAUTION:Your mobile site may be powered by a third party, but you’reresponsible for its performance. After all, visitors see your brandand will hold you accountable, regardless of the underlying vendor Figure 3: A third-party mobile web site and supportingarrangement. infrastructure does not deliver a quality experience to end users under peak traffic conditions.#2: YOU’RE FALLING SHORT, WAY SHORT, OF According to a survey of over 1,000 U.S. mobile phone users, 52EXPECTATIONS percent of consumers are unlikely to return to a web site they had trouble accessing by phone.Mobile users expect to make sacrifices – in content depth and itspresentation — in exchange for anyplace, anytime convenience. But Worse, 40 percent said they’d likely visit a competitor’s web sitethe one thing they won’t sacrifice is speed: 58 percent of mobile instead.phone users expect web sites to load as quickly on their phones as on With social media as a readily available bullhorn, disappointedtheir desktops. customers are NOT content to suffer silently. Instead, they rapidlyWhile the desktop user may be content to surf the web, mobile users share their frustrations with millions of other social media users,typically use their devices for urgent needs, such as checking a flight slamming your brand, your revenues and your ability to encourage appstatus, confirming reservations, comparing price options and making adaptation.appointments. Urgency sets the expectation and if you fail to meet it, While performance issues may be complex, the consequences areyou’ll pay a steep price. simple: There’s an unmistakable correlation between increases in mobile service load times and increases in end-user abandonment.Figure 4: Mobile users not only vent their frustrations usingsocial media but also through mobile-specific channels,such as App Store customer ratings, significantly impacting Figure 5: There is a clear correlationmobile service uptake and revenue. between an increase in site load time and mobile end-user abandonment.
#1: YOU DON’T SEE YOUR MOBILE SERVICE FROM YOUR • What do customers want from your mobile service?CUSTOMERS’ PERSPECTIVE Is your content optimized to perform well on mobile devices with widely different capabilities, or is it creating unintendedIt’s too easy to feel cozy and warm behind the comforts of your frustrations? For example, reducing the number of HTTP requestsfirewall where everything from web servers to load balancers seems to or using simple tools to optimize images can have a major,be running okay. favorable impact on performance.But that’s NOT how your customers see things at all. The service • Where do customers access your service?they receive (or don’t) comes at the end of a complex mobile web Does your service perform well regardless of geographic locationapplication delivery chain that includes major Internet service or network? Remember, in a globally connected world, it’s alwaysproviders (ISPs), third-party services, content delivery networks, local “business hours” somewhere — your service must be strong, 24/7.ISPs, mobile carriers, mobile devices and more. Problems at any • How do customers use your service?point in the chain frustrate your customers. Does your mobile site render correctly regardless of device, be it an iPhone, a Droid or a BlackBerry? Are your third-party partnersAs many as two-thirds of all performance failures occur outside the delivering the service levels they promised, or are they generatingfirewall. Yet no matter where the problems arise, the blame — and performance issues that impact your customers?the consequences — will fall on you. That’s why you need to ask thekind of questions that expose your mobile performance the way yourcustomers experience it:Figure 6: Problems that impact the mobile user experience can occur anywherealong the entire mobile application delivery chain.