Why Doesn’t Anyone Care About Mobile Performance? – Retail Edition

2.87 Billion smartphones in the wild… Anyone reading this will not be surprised to hear that recent analytics on mobile traffic worldwide has increased to 54% and it’s steadily increasing year-over-year.

If we can all generally agree that the majority of customers are viewing content on mobile devices then why do some of the nation’s top retailers have mobile performance that looks like this?

Down the performance rabbit hole… That was a question the team at Valtira set out to answer at the beginning of the new year and we’ve been down a road full of surprises and frustrations. We did most of our benchmarking with Google Pagespeed Insights but we also used great tools like Pingdom and GTmetrix. In the end, we’ve found that getting consistent results with Pagespeed Insights was most crucial due to SEO but there are a lot of fluctuations in the Pagespeed Insights scores.

Time and time again, we dove into various industries from healthcare to real estate, retail to video streaming and we consistently found terrible mobile scores. Some sites were laggy due to image sizes, slow page-rendering or they suffered from having too many plug-ins but the end result was the same… bad mobile performance.

So you’re saying there’s a chance… Realizing having a high performing site along with great mobile speed is just as important as great architecture, SEO and UX we doubled-down on figuring out what really matters when optimizing a site for mobile devices. (Hint: It’s not just image optimization, or server-side tagging, or font optimization, or hard-coded CSS, or lazy loading, or caching and for you WordPress folks, there is not a single plugin that does it all!)

In May of 2022, we launched a large website for one of our real estate clients that consistently scores in the 90’s out of 100 on mobile. No small feat for a site packed with images and constantly updating. Where is their closest competitor in mobile scores? In the 50’s! The top brokerages are all ~40 points below the newly launched site in mobile performance. That will equal real business results over time and give our client a leg up on their competition.

What does improved performance mean… Lower bounce rates, higher conversions, more page views and improved ability to drive the behavior you want on your digital properties. Who doesn’t want that?

Are you doing this or am I… Who should own mobile performance? It seems simple but it’s actually quite murky. It heavily affects UX, Digital Marketing, SEO and Product teams but it also needs buy in and support from IT. In the end, senior leaders need to determine who owns it, but not adding that responsibility to someone’s role, and consistently monitoring mobile performance, is a mistake with huge consequences. 

Here’s the hook… We’ve found that large improvements can be made with only a couple of weeks of work. Pushing your score in the 90’s will take a bit longer but what price can you put on all the lost revenue from not delivering your site in a way your customers expect?

Feel free to reach out with any questions. Valtira would love to help you leapfrog your competition and get you to the top of mobile rankings in your industry.

But wait there’s more!… Improving performance pays environmental dividends. Technology is having an ever-expanding role in pollution and optimizing your digital properties can make a real difference in your company’s carbon footprint initiatives. Here’s an article we recently wrote that explains our unique approach

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