Technical issues impact m-commerce in Asia: 54% Indians cite 'slow page loading' as No.1 problem

Consumers in Asia-Pacific are vastly using their smartphones to browse and purchase from mcommerce sites, with 84 percent of consumers using their smartphones to browse on a weekly basis, according to Rackspace's new Asia-Pacific mcommerce study.

However, frustrations are running high as 78 percent of consumers experience technical issues when browsing sites on their smartphone, affecting purchasing decisions and company perception, the survey of 1200 consumers across Hong Kong, Singapore, and India revealed.

Across markets, over a quarter of consumers (28 percent) said they would not make purchases from an mcommerce site if they experience a technical issue and nearly all consumers (93 percent) said their perception of a brand is affected if its website consistently has problems.

"Ecommerce companies need to realise the severity of poorly managed mcommerce sites and the impact it's having on consumers. Downtime or timed-out errors are not only causing consumer frustrations, but they're also enabling consumers to forgo purchasing," said Ajit Melarkode, managing director of Rackspace Asia Pacific. "A five second delay in page loading can be the difference in a sale or not."

Among server-related technical problems that consumers' experience, slow page loading ranked as the most prevalent issue across Asia Pacific. On average, 61 percent of consumers cited this as the number one problem (73 percent in Hong Kong, 54 percent in India and 58 percent in Singapore).

This was followed by scaling issues with 39 percent of consumers on average saying that webpages do not look to scale on their smartphones (40 percent in Hong Kong, 31 percent in India and 46 percent in Singapore).

Page freezing and glitches ranked as the third most prevalent technical problem.

In response to these issues, nearly all consumers (97 percent) felt a level of frustration with websites, with one-fifth closing the site and moving on if they experienced a technical problem. Nearly one-third said they would visit the website on their desktop instead. The majority of consumers (40 percent) said they would wait 6-10 seconds for the webpage to load before leaving the site, while only a quarter said they would wait longer than 15 seconds for a webpage to load before leaving.

"To retain customers on your mcommerce site, performance and support are key. Companies need to build a premium mobile experience for their customers that is built on speed, security and reliability while simultaneously fixing any IT issues that arise in real-time," said Adam McCarthy, director and general manager of Rackspace Asia. "To do this, companies should look into partnering with an IT hosting partner that can manage, scale and support their site at all times, allowing online retailers to focus on their customers, sales strategy and long-term growth without worry."

"Mcommerce is not an option anymore, it's a must-do," said Florian Legendre, Bluecom Managing Director. "As mcommerce is growing much faster in Asia than ecommerce, companies must put their mobile strategy as a priority on the business agenda. This means developing an optimised and scalable site for mobile, as opposed to simply adapting a desktop or laptop website design. For ecommerce companies to be successful in mobile, the whole user experience needs to be reviewed."

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Updated Date: Sep 25, 2014 12:15:59 IST