App Performance

Mobile app performance: 1-second delay costs $0,08 per user

Mobile app performance: 1-second delay costs $0,08 per user

There’s no doubt the world is going mobile: currently, almost 52% of the global web traffic is generated by mobile devices (source). In the first quarter of 2018, iOS and Google Play app downloads grew more than 10% setting a new record: 27.5 billion (source). This is not a surprise: people are spending around 3 hours a day on apps, through their smartphones (source). Who doesn’t have a mobile app for every single thing?

Apps account for more than 80% of the total time spent on mobile devices, surpassing the time spent on web browsing over the mobile phone. (source)

The power and freedom of doing everything anytime and anywhere also means that users are expecting to get it fast, having little patience for bad performing apps. As an example, 96% of users state that performance is important or critically important, even valuing it over price, says a survey by Dimensional Research.

Speed at the core of user experience

In this case, mobile app performance is tightly related to load times, responsiveness and speed: 49% of users expect apps to respond in 2 seconds or less (source). This means that when a mobile app doesn’t meet the expectations (either because of low speed, bad responsiveness or lack of stability), there’s nothing stopping them from deleting it and move on. That’s exactly what 48% will do.

But it doesn’t end here. 73% of people indicate is likely to leave a review after a negative app experience, says a survey by Apptentive. What does it mean? Besides deleting the app, they can prevent other users from downloading it in the first place. 75% of people see mobile ratings and reviews as a key driver to download an app and 42% view them as equally or more trustworthy than personal recommendations.

55% of the users will blame the mobile app for the performance issues, no matter the actual cause; while 37% of the users who experience a mobile app that crashed or froze will think less of the company that made the app. (source)

It is pretty clear that no matter the cause, bad mobile app performance can deeply affect your business. It impacts your brand image and it affects user retention rate, conversions, number of downloads and, finally, revenue.

Bad performance will dive into your pocket

You all probably know the theory pretty well, but have you done the math? A study by Packet Zoom says that 63% of users abandon an app that fails to start within 5 seconds and, according to this data, the Average Mobile Apps CPI is around $0.65. This means that a 5-second delay could represent an average loss of $0.41 per user. Thus, for 1-second of delay, the loss would be of $0.08 per user.

This is quite a lot of money. And that’s why developers and app owners invest a lot in making apps run as fast as possible, usually relying on cloud infrastructure or CDNs. However, 70% of the users are still experiencing performance issues (source) and 75% of these issues are network related (source).

People are investing money to avoid losing more money and that’s clearly not working. So, why is this happening? It’s simpler than it seems. Cloud infrastructure falls short in helping where the true problem lies: the wireless last mile. And people are only getting that now.