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NZ mobile sites stuck in slow lane

Sarah Putt, Contributor. 06 September 2018, 9:20 am

It takes on average 15 seconds to load a mobile page in New Zealand, when it should take three. That's according to Google NZ Country Director Caroline Rainsford, who spoke at the PwC Herald talks on Wednesday.

The speed at which a mobile page loads became more important since Google began including it as a factor in organic search in July. The message to businesses with an online presence is to speed-up because Google claims that the longer it takes to load your mobile site, the more likely you are to lose customers, here are their stats:

1s to 3s - probability to bounce increases 32%
1s to 5s - probability to bounce increases 90%
1s to 6s - probability to bounce increases 106%
1s to 10s - probability to bounce increases 123%

Rainsford's message to the capacity audience at the SkyCity theatre was threefold - if you want to stay ahead of the game you have to provide the following customer experience - fast, relevant and seamless. 

Another tip is be personal, apparently customers are ahead of the curve when it comes to wanting a personal experience, and Google data shows that 66% of customers expect brands to know their history. Rainsford has noticed an increasing use of the words "for me" appearing in search results.

While consumers might be quick to adopt new ways to interact with brands, unfortunately New Zealand businesses are lagging. Rainsford cited a survey which showed only 2% were in the top category for digital competency.

The example that is often cited of a New Zealand company that "gets it" is Air New Zealand. Enabling Koru Club members to order their coffee via the mobile app and have it ready for them when they arrive at the lounge is an example of how technology can provide "human experiences".

Internationally, an example is the Hilton Hotel chain which has digitised key aspects of the customer experience. Customers can check in, select a room via and even open the door to their room with their mobile phone, without once having to speak to the receptionist.

In the video shown by Rainsford, the hotel chain was gearing up for 'voice applications'. So too is Google in New Zealand, with Rainsford hinting that Google Home is close to launching here. This follows Amazon's launch of its Echo earlier in the year.

Both Google and Amazon are promoting the ability to buy goods with verbal commands, known as 'voice shopping', with some analysts forecasting it will be worth as much as $40 billion a year globally. But media reports last month showed that only 2% of people with the Amazon Echo speaker have actually made a purchase with it in 2018.

Many see having a voice app as more of a marketing exercise, than a sales tool. Even so, it would make sense for New Zealand businesses to get familiar with Voice apps, as it's inevitable that they will become an increasing presences in e-commerce. In the meantime, you can take another step towards digital competency by checking out how fast your mobile site loads here.  


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