It’s an undeniable fact that customers are increasingly connecting to services with expectations of an always-on, anytime, anywhere accessibility. There is a massive opportunity for businesses to engage more frequently with a switched on and interested consumer-base, but it brings the challenge of delivering the kind of seamless experience that they expect – in fact, it has been worked out that the average internet user will be put off visiting a site again if confronted with a delay of just 250 milliseconds. That’s quicker than the blink of an eye.
This means that the pressure is on for companies to deliver websites and online applications with as few delays as possible, otherwise there’s a risk that they will, quite literally, lose business. I don’t think many business leaders appreciate just how critical to the bottom line this is!
While a lot of delays suffered can be down to the connection to the end-user’s device (traditionally known as “the last mile”), there is a lot that can be done to reduce the page load speeds from the server side. For example, if you can tell that a user is accessing the site on a mobile device, high bandwidth images will be unnecessary and a mobile-friendly version of the site can, even should, be delivered instead. Time and money invested here to ensure maximum speed and availability is a solid investment in revenue.
It is something of a surprise that mobile access is so widely neglected when you consider that the latest statistics from Ofcom indicate that 39 per cent of the UK population access the internet on their mobiles. This figure is only going to get higher as smartphone penetration increases - estimated to reach 75% by 2016. It’s imperative that businesses address this shortcoming in order to boost the bottom line.
Good user experience is a key part of revenue generation and should be a top priority.