As smartphones continue to increase in popularity, customers are coming to expect the same level of web performance on their mobile phones as they do on a desktop PC. A new consumer survey reported that 71 percent of mobile web users expect websites to load as quickly or even faster on their mobile phone compared to the computer they use at home—up from 58 percent in 2009. Seventy-three percent of consumers (up from 20 percent in 2009) are willing to wait only five seconds or less for a single web page to load before leaving the site. And, a third of mobile web users who encounter a poorly performing website or application will go to a competitor instead.
What does all of this tell us? It’s no longer good enough for your mobile site to be prepared for “ordinary” business conditions. You also have to be prepared for peak conditions, which may mean load testing. When higher-than-usual mobile web traffic volumes lead to unbearably slow load times, revenues, brand image, and customer relationships can be jeopardized. Businesses must now carefully ensure their mobile sites and infrastructure can handle peak traffic conditions when customer expectations are at their highest, such as the holidays or when you’re leveraging a mobile ad network to drive increased traffic to your site.
Like “traditional” websites, load testing for mobile sites and their applications requires careful planning, such as determining which devices are most prevalent among our customer base and should therefore be prioritized from a load testing perspective. And, mobile web benchmarks can give you an idea of the mobile web experience being offered by your industry counterparts.
At the end of the day, ensuring the best possible customer experience during periods of heavy traffic is the goal. You want to find problems before they do. To achieve this goal, you must build your load test from your customer’s point of view at the end of the web application delivery chain. Many businesses find it useful to leverage load generated from the cloud combined with load generated from users’ desktops and mobile devices. This approach delivers a bird’s eye view into the experiences of real customers under load across a wide variety of geographies and device platforms.
In addition, clear definition of performance goals, input from all key stakeholders, early planning and testing, and equal emphasis on both desktop and mobile are keys to an effective load testing strategy. Today, software testers have an opportunity to drive this strategy, paving the way not only to more effective load tests but also higher-performing websites, mobile sites, and web applications that help their businesses capitalize on peak traffic periods.