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Poor performance of websites on iPad could be costing revenues – except for Amazon, of course

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One third of the world’s most visited websites takes more than a second to load on an iPad according to research conducted by Zeus Technology – which is bad news for anyone investing in the Apple device as a ‘shop window’ as a study by Amazon finds that for every 100 milliseconds of latency in page delivery time you typically get a 1% drop in sales.

Amazon, obviously with the inside track on this, has this very week rewritten its .co.uk website front end to produce Amazon Windowshop, a site specifically designed for the iPad – and believes that it is so good that shoppers will prefer to use it than the company’s website.

According to Zeus, the quickest websites to load on iPad currently included the homepages of Google, Mozilla and BBC which clocked speeds of 0.046, 0.015 and 0.078 seconds respectively – despite being some of the heaviest used in the world. No figures are yet available for Amazon Windowshop, but we sure hope its super fast (or the words ‘hoist’, ‘own’ and ‘petard’ will be springing to mind).

Zeus, meanwhile, is encouraging other slower performing sites that receive large traffic volumes to ensure they put the correct management measures in place for iPad sites as they would for desktop designed online areas.

The research also revealed that the majority of the top visited sites globally are not offering a fully optimised web experience on the iPad. 82 per cent did not have any video on their iPad sites and one third (33 per cent) featured a video that would not work on the device due to compatibility issues.

Additionally, results showed more than a quarter (27 per cent) of the top 100 sites do not offer personalisation options on their iPad sites, such as members areas or log-in sections. Zeus is calling for all websites yielding large volumes of traffic to know who is visiting their site in order to prioritise regular visitors more effectively and ensure their loyalty is not compromised by frustrations about the performance of an iPad site.

Kosten Metreweli, chief marketing officer, Zeus Technology, comments, “With the iPad or other tablet device – highly sought after Christmas gifts this year – a new wave of users will be accessing the web through these devices in the next few months. However, consumers are unlikely to be forgiving if websites fail to perform, no matter what device they are accessing it from. If a visitor accesses a site that doesn’t offer the level of service they expect, they will go to a competing site to find what they are looking for. Equally, if they become frustrated with a brand, the volume of social media sites available nowadays means that they can easily share their negative sentiments with other users. Although not all performance issues can be planned for, businesses can take simple steps to ensure services do not fail when their consumer base needs them most.”

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