An Accenture Interactive study titled “Masters of Mobile” commissioned by Google found that Indian mobile websites lag behind in speed of the websites, although they perform well in product design, registration and conversion, and findability. (Methodology towards the end)

By speed, the study means whether the site performance is optimised for mobile and whether pages load quickly enough to not disrupt the site experience.

Some of its findings

  • The study concluded, among other things, that the websites score only 55% in speed as opposed to 80% in product and mobile page design, and 69% in findability.
  • It found that brands face 20% fall in conversions and for every 1 second of delay in load-time and 53% people leave a site which takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
  • Further, it said that a sub-par mobile experience can risk lower conversions.
  • 86% of the Indian consumers are likely to make purchases on mobile sites with a “seamless” design.

Indian sites were rated as

  • Product and Mobile Page design – 80%
  • Findability – 69%
  • Registration and Conversion – 73%
  • Speed – 55%

These are the top websites for all factors:

  • Financial services: BankBazaar, IIFL, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Max Life Insurance
  • Retail & Ecommerce: Amazon, CaratLane, Flipkart, Shoppers Stop
  • Travel: Cleartrip, Jet Airways, redBus.in, Yatra

Mobile sites are still significant

Although consumers spend 88% of their time on apps instead of mobile websites, they spend most of the app time on social and messaging platforms (44%), and entertainment (24%) platforms. They spend an average of 186.9 minutes per visitor on apps, whereas the time on mobile web is only 11.9 average minutes per user. But mobile websites have a much higher monthly unique visitors – 15.7 as compared to 7 for apps. The reason could be that outside of major cities, many consumers rely on low-end devices with limited storage and weak connectivity. Users from Tier 2 and Tier 3 start using platforms via mobile websites instead of downloading apps.

Recommendations for brands

  1. Speed: to increase the speed of mobile sites, the study recommended that brands need to
    • reduce the load by compressing text and images
    • prepare for high traffic by reducing server response time
    • Avoid repetitive browser requests by caching static objects like images and HTML documents
  2. Retail and ecommerce sites:
    • 74% of the sites can improve registration and conversion rate by creating an account
    • 59% of them can improve registration and conversion by allowing users to purchase products as guest
  3. Travel: providing search steps or guidance when there are no matching search results
  4. 78% of the sites surveyed can improve findability for brands
  5. 36% of the finance websites can improve page design by not displaying desktop site on mobile browsers

Methodology

The usability metrics i.e. for findability, product Pages, registration & conversion, and mobile design were conducted between April 26 to August 15, 2018. The speed measurements were conducted between July 16-25, 2018.

The study evaluated 110 Indian mobile websites across financial, retail and ecommerce and travel services and rated them against specific features like design, conversion, speed, etc.

Percentage scores for speed were calculated by normalizing Speed Index measurements of all brands. Speed Index measures how “visually available” a page is to the customer when loaded. The lower the score, the faster the page is loads and the content is visually made available to the customer, even if the rest of the page is not ready yet.

  • Speed Metrics: This was measured with a Speed Index to determine the brand performance score. A WebPageTest was used to gather the speed index measurements on each website, a scoring logic then converted the speed index into a speed score between 0-100 which was then normalised against the APAC score. The score was calculated for 4 key pages for a particular website – the homepage, search page, product detail and registration/signup page.
  • User story for consumer experience: To assess the site from the customer’s point of view, a user story was provided to help users assess the site from a consumer’s point of view. The user story detailed the task that has to be completed on the site, the reason for performing the task, and the wider context for the task
  • Brand selection: Brands having the highest traffic in each country upto December 27, 2017 were selected for the study.  The brands site had to be B2C and/or a transactional site.