Bad Smartphone UX Costs Millions: Google and e-point Audit
Online shops lose 231 million euros in revenue if smartphone users have a poor mobile experience. A joint study carried out by Google and e-point confirmed that slow, incorrectly designed websites can have a serious impact on companies’ financial results.
Most Polish e-commerce customers are smartphone users. This is backed up by Polish search engine stats: in 2021, Google recorded twice as many mobile searches as desktop searches. This trend is stable, and the number of mobile Internet users is still growing.
Currently in Poland, 70% of buyers decide not to complete their mobile shopping experience; eliminating barriers to smartphone usage – i.e. improving the user experience, or UX – could significantly increase revenue.
"On average, a Polish user is engaged in seven shopping processes at the same time. We are multitaskers. We shop online at the bus stop and while queuing at the post office, but we usually do not finish the purchase. Why not? Because we are scared off by bad experiences and barriers that appear during the shopping process. "
- European online shops lost and estimated 231 million EUR due to incorrect mobile website adaptation. Of this, approximately 222 million would have been spent on electronic goods.
- This joint study analyzed the impact of more than 1,100 UX and website performance recommendations on the business outcomes of 50 small and medium Polish e-commerce shops.
- Implementing UX improvements increases conversions by an average of 3.3 percent.
- Companies that did not implement any improvements saw a 6.2% average decrease in conversions.
- Implementing mobile website recommendations increases site performance (speed) by 11 percent.
- Companies that did not implement any improvements saw a 4% average decrease in conversions.
Interestingly, sellers themselves admit that the smartphone conversion rate – the percentage of customers who start and finish the shopping process – is approximately 50% lower than for desktop users. Google estimates that the lost revenue is due to barriers connected with bad mobile user experience. These barriers are the result of poor mobile adaptations of e-commerce websites, e.g. problems with the display of product information, offer comparison, excessive scrolling, etc.
Recommendations for Site Owners
This joint study resulted in over 1,100 UX and mobile site recommendations, 25% of which have been or are in the process of being implemented.
Orange Polska is a great example of how much a company can gain from improving site performance. It changed the front-end of its website to a much faster version, resulting in a 52% increase in conversions. One of the key elements of the company's success was the thorough analysis of the relationship between the number of conversions and website loading time. Reducing the website loading time resulted in significant sales growth. In short, a fast mobile website sells better and sells more.
"The contemporary smartphone user is busy and distracted, and they expect the mobile version of the shop to be fast and efficient. We took part in this project because we wanted to analyze how, from the technological point of view, we could help Polish companies operate faster and more efficiently. So it’s worth spending time and money on website design and technology to scale sales and achieve tangible business benefits."
We analyzed two typical online store scenarios. The first scenario was to find a product in the Google search engine, go to the product page, add the product to the cart, and make the purchase. The second scenario involved visiting the shop’s home page, searching for a product, and making a purchase. We used a 58-point checklist of mobile UX best practices to gauge ease of use. This checklist was developed by Google and leading research institutes; it includes guidance on things like button and text sizes, product images, and adapting to the smaller screens of mobile devices.
The mobile speed study included three Core Web Vitals: the time needed for the content to appear on the screen, the visual stability of the text during page loading, and the response time to user actions. For this, we used anonymous statistical data from hundreds of thousands of Polish mobile Chrome users and special laboratory tests. After getting the results, the companies received a report with recommendations on how to improve their site’s mobile performance and user experience. Company representatives also participated in status meetings, which helped them to implement the recommendations and understand the impact on their business results.
After finishing the project, we estimated an average conversion rate for smartphones for the period before the presentation of the results of the audit and after the last status meeting that ended the project. Out of the group of 50 companies, we chose those that implemented at least one recommendation concerning UX or website speed and we compared them to the companies that did not introduce any recommendations.