Speed is absolutely essential to the online experience, as validated by recent Forrester Consulting data which shows two seconds or less (down from four seconds just a few years ago) to be the new threshold customers are willing to wait before growing frustrated, abandoning a site and going to a competitor.
While the traditional Web seems to be delivering, the mobile Web is not stacking up, with additional data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday showing page load speeds for mobile retail sites ranging from 2.18 seconds at best to almost six seconds at worst, with 3.7 seconds the average — far above Forrester Consulting's two-second threshold. Furthermore, the on-the-go nature of mobile devices tends to place an even higher premium on speed and convenience, thus making retailers even more susceptible to heavy fallout from poor performance, including disgruntled customers, lost revenues and damaged brand.
ABI Research recently revised upward its forecast of mobile sales of physical goods in North America. In January 2009, it projected m-commerce sales would reach $544 million in 2009, up 57 percent over 2008.
But in late October 2009, ABI upped its forecast, saying sales would top $750 million in 2009, a massive 117 percent annual growth rate. M-commerce's time has arrived, and it is likely that sales in 2010 will pass the $1 billion mark.