Headlines from internetretailer.com yesterday suggested that smartphone users are now demanding faster speeds from mobile sites.

The recent survery has found that 64% of smartphone users want a site to load within four seconds; 82% within five seconds.

The same survey also states: retailers, travel companies, ticket sellers and other companies with mobile sites ignore these increased expectations for fast performance at their own peril, mobile and web performance management firm Keynote Systems Inc. says.

Whilst the demand for sites that load faster on mobiles is a trend that will only grow, so far the habits of retail customers are showing loyalty to buying online via the more comfortable and visually attractive medium of their tablets, laptops and pc screens. The irritations of trying to browse products that require an aesthetic or more considered decision-making process are clear with mobile sites.

Browsing through categories, drop downs, or zooming in on a product just doesn’t offer the same user experience on a smartphone, particularly when viewing products such as clothing and accessories, jewellery and gifts. Users shopping for these categories want the clear and attractive visual layout, easy navigation and fast checkout provided by robust, quick ecommerce sites.

What message should ecommerce retailers take from all this?

– don’t be distracted by the hype surround mobile ecommerce if your ecommerce site itself is not already ticking all the boxes that users look for when browsing online:

• fast page loads with simple, secure and quick checkout process,
• clear and intelligent search functionality that quickly brings them to the right products,
• the ability to zoom in effectively to examine emotionally-driven purchases easily,
• efficient and real-time stock updates
• combined with fantastic customer service

Get these right, and in our experience, you will drive customer retention and increase revenue. A class example of how to do all this and more brilliantly is Astley Clarke. Get there from our Flint Technology home page.