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QVC’s fast response times in mobile make it a leader: report

February 6, 2012

QVC consistently delivers one of the fastest mobile Web experiencesQVC clearly recognizes the importance of mobile performance and chose speed over dense content to provide mobile users with the fast response times they are looking for, according to a new report from Compuware.

The Best of the Web 2011: Compuware Web and Mobile Performance Awards report pinpointed the mobile leaders across a variety of categories. The list includes Acura in the automotive category and JetBlue in the travel category.

“QVC managed their site content by minimizing the impact of third party hosts, the number of objects and overall density of their site,” said Jonathan Ranger, Gomez benchmark director for Compuware, Detroit, MI. “They clearly chose speed over dense content.

“It is extremely important, especially with the impact of wireless speeds on performance, to carefully manage the density of site content with the efficiency of the site,” he said. “The urge to apply traditional Web content to mobile should be curbed.

“Screen size, connection speed and device diversity requires mobile site architecture to be leaner; but not so lean that the site doesn’t meet basic customer expectations for content. It is quite a balancing act.”

Performance a differentiator
Other mobile leaders named by Compuware in the report include JP Morgan Chase and KeyBank, who were tied for the mobile leader title in the financial services category; U.S. News & World Report in the news media category, and the WWE in sports media.

The winning mobile sites came from companies that work to ensure that their mobile site performance is a differentiator by continuously evolving their mobile experiences to meet customers’ needs.

Overall, mobile sites performed well during the 2011 holiday season. However, when compared to traditional Web sites, the performance of mobile sites was lacking.

“The greatest surprise was how well mobile retail sites performed, relative to pre-holiday performance, as they experienced the holiday rush,” Mr. Ranger said.

“Many sites reduced the content available via mobile devices to compensate for increased traffic between Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” he said. “Mobile travel sites performed better during the holiday period than earlier in the year as well.

“However, it is extremely important to note that mobile performed far worse when compared to the traditional Web. That trend will need to change in the coming year to continue the growth of mobile Web use.”

Going forward, marketers need to focus on providing a performance in mobile that is as strong as it is in other channels.

Mobile performance is especially important as consumers increasingly use a range of devices to connect, PCs, tablets, smartphones and expect the same performance experience no matter the device.

“The more end users rely on their smart phones and tablet devices to browse the Web, the more they will require increasingly sophisticated content,” Mr. Ranger said. “There is great opportunity, but also great risk associated with mobile adoption.

“Providers will need to pay close attention to how end user content requirements impact mobile site performance,” he said. “Achieving customer satisfaction for both content and performance will not be easy.

“The providers plugged into analysis of the tradeoffs between content and performance will most benefit from the increased emphasis on mobile use.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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