Slow pages hurt mobile user metrics, from bounce rate to online revenues and long-term user retention. At Radware, we wanted to understand the science behind this, so we engaged in the first documented study of the neurological impact of poor performance on mobile users. Your takeaway from this presentation is hard data that you can use to make a case for investing in mobile performance in your organization.
Based on similar research performed on desktop users, our study involved using a groundbreaking combination of eyetracking and electroencephalography (EEG) technologies to monitor brain wave activity in a group of mobile users who were asked to perform a series of online transactions via mobile devices.
In our study, participants were asked to complete standardized shopping tasks on four ecommerce sites while using a smartphone. We studied participants during these tasks, both at the normal speed over Wifi and also at a consistently slowed-down speed (using software that allowed us to create a 500ms network delay). The participants did not know that speed was a factor in the tests; rather, they believed that they were participating in a generic usability/brand perception study. From the data, we were able to extract measures of frustration and emotional engagement for the browsing and checkout stages of both the normal and slowed-down versions of all four sites.
This presentation, shared by Radware Web Performance Evangelist Tammy Everts at the 2014 Velocity Conference and the CMG Performance and Capacity 2014 Conference, provides a deeper understanding of the impact of performance on mobile users.
For even more on the research, you can also download it here: http://www.radware.com/mobile-eeg2013/
Two things are slowing down your site for mobile (and they’re completely beyond your control).
Latency – can range from 35 milliseconds to 350+ milliseconds per resource (e.g. images, CSS files)
Connection – 3G can be up to 15 times slower than broadband
RWD is awesome, but it *can* come with performance penalties.
•2010 EEG study of desktop users
•Throttled connection from 5MB to 2MB
•Found that participants had to concentrate up to 50% harder
•Afterward, participants reported negative brand associations
“95% of the consumer’s decisions are made at the subconscious level.”
Dr. Gerald Zaltman, Harvard University Executive Committee of Harvard University’s Mind, Brain and Behavior Interfaculty Initiative
Our research team
Seren – leaders in customer experience & service design
NeuroStrata – expert consultants in blending neuromarketing applications
Neurosense – global leader in implicit methodologies
Our test subjects
•24 participants (12 male and 12 female)
•Pre-screened to ensure normal cognitive functioning
•Experienced mobile device users
•Did not know they were part of a performance study
•Standardized set of shopping tasks (browsing and checkout)
•Testers served sites over one of two speeds:
–artificial 500ms delay
•Using EEG headset and eyetracker, measured moment- by-moment responses
1Participants then viewed one of two videos depicting a flight selection/booking process:
•Slow (500ms delay per page)
2Each brand is measured again against the same 24 attributes.
3Difference between normal and slow indicates effect of speed on brand perception.
EasyJet: Impact of 500ms slowdown on each dimension
EasyJet: Impact of 500ms slowdown on each attribute
Ryanair: Impact of 500ms slowdown on each dimension
Ryanair: Impact of 500ms slowdown on each attribute
Brand perception summary
•500ms delay triggered downward shift in perception for both companies.
•Overall, EasyJet enjoyed a more positive brand perception. Therefore the impact on EasyJet was greater than on Ryanair.
•Impact varied across attributes for each brand:
–EasyJet site suffered more in Purchase Intent and Functional attributes.
–Ryanair suffered more in Warmth/Friendliness dimensions.
1Slower web performance has a clear, measurable impact on people at a neurological level.
2People feel “web stress” even when shopping under ideal conditions.
3Slow sites can seriously undermine overall brand health.
4The nature and scale of impact varies, depending on a number of factors (e.g. inherent strength/weakness of brand).
5Greatest risk is to purchase intent.
6Excellent opportunities to strengthen overall brand by investing in performance optimization.
Web Stress: A Wake-Up Call for European Business (Foviance, 2010) http://www.ca.com/us/~/media/files/supportingpieces/final_webstress_survey_report_229296.aspx
2013 Social & Mobile Commerce Consumer Report (Shop.org / comScore)
2012 Mobile User Survey (Keynote)
2013 State of the Union: Mobile Ecommerce Performance (Radware)
The Danger of a Poor Mobile Shopping Experience [INFOGRAPHIC]
Case study: The impact of HTML delay on mobile business metrics (Web Performance Today, November 2011)