Optimising for Mobile - Site Speed in eCommerce - Kaizen

Time to go Mobile

A. Not Very Responsive

The vast majority of retailers in the study had websites optimised for mobile devices, but 20% of them would serve their mobile users separate mobile site – usually on separate sub domain. While this approach solves the UX requirements of mobile friendliness, it can be inconvenient for two reasons:

o Google handles subdomains as separate domains.

o Depending on how the redirects based on viewport are set up, in the new, mobile-first index world, this can mean that the Googlebot (visiting with smartphone user agent) will have troubles reaching the desktop version of the site.

A safer solution can be to use a responsive site - one page that delivers the same HTML code to all devices, but adapts to the size and shape of the device used. Our study found that this had representation on only 80% of the sites.

Responsive vs Mobile website
Responsive vs Mobile website Responsive vs Mobile website

What’s alarming is that the mobile sites themselves were largely poorly-optimised for mobile; the average mobile site scored 55/100 for speed, as opposed to the average desktop score of 60/100.

Average scores on PageSpeed Insights
Average scores on PageSpeed Insights Average scores on PageSpeed Insights

DH Gate had a massive difference of 57 points between their desktop score (at 65/100) and their mobile (8/100), while the worst offenders were Carat London and http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/, who scored zero for both mobile and desktop score.

Speed has been a factor in search engine rankings since 2010, and Google have recently announced that they are implementing mobile-first indexing, which means that the impact of the mobile site will likely outweigh desktop counterparts. On top of that, seconds spent waiting for a website to load on a mobile devices often feel much longer, as the mobile connection tends to be slower. Users expect the websites (or apps) to be faster on their phones.

For these websites where the mobile page is severely lacking, this represents a potentially large hit to their traffic and conversions.

Here is the list of the top 10 websites based on Google’s Page Speed Insights:

Top 10 websites based on Google’s Page Speed Insights
URL Desktop Score Mobile Score Total Speed Score
http://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/ 98 98 196
http://tmlewin.co.uk/ 97 96 193
http://www.americangolf.co.uk 97 95 192
http://jackwills.com 96 95 191
http://findmeagift.co.uk 95 94 189
http://www.thorntons.co.uk 93 90 183
http://gymshark.com 91 88 182
http://coop.co.uk 89 88 179
http://bouxavenue.com 91 85 177

B. Mobile Management

Much of the mobile optimisation requires coding and/or web development skills (as well as the site size recommendations we’ve already made) but worry not – Google have created a guide to delivering a mobile page in under a second, which you can find here.