We all love to visit simple, minimalistic, fuss-free sites on our mobile phones – but it isn’t that easy for companies to create such experiences.
Not only do they have to fit heaps of information onto a small screen, they also have to keep their sites clean-looking and aesthetically pleasing.
But a few mobile sites in Singapore have have managed to create great experiences for its on-the-go users, according to Google’s recent Masters of Mobile APAC Report 2018, which ranked sites according to how good a mobile experience they offer.
According to the report, factors which make a site user-friendly are: findability (on-site search and filter tool), product pages (clear product information), registration and conversion (simple transaction options), mobile design, and speed.
The report studying 15 Asia Pacific countries took into account a total of 720 mobile sites across the financial services, retail and commerce, and travel industries.
In Singapore, the official Mobile Master in the financial services industry is NTUC Income, which the report said “makes their site feel easy to use by avoiding visual clutter, having appropriately large touch targets and by labelling icons”.
In second place is POSB Bank, followed by Philip Securities.
In the retail and commerce industry, iHerb, Qoo10 and Amazon are the top three Mobile Masters, while Expedia, Hotels.com and Traveloka clinched the top three rankings in the travel category.
According to Google, there are several areas in which web service owners in Singapore can impove on. These are:
Autocomplete and next steps on financial services sites
Two areas in which financial services sites in Singapore can improve on are findability and mobile design, Google said.
According to the report, for 68 per cent of financial services sites, findability can be improved by implementing autocomplete to suggest popular searches. Meanwhile, 67 per cent of these sites can also provide next steps or guidance to users who cannot find matching search results.
Also, 55 per cent of financial services sites can up their game on mobile design by avoiding the use of carousels – which are boxes on a website containing multiple images that typically rotate.
The report said that many users may find it difficult and annoying to process information on moving images, and added that if a carousel must be implemented, it should not auto-rotate. Instead, users should be able to navigate it using arrow buttons or dots.
Guest wishlists on retail and e-commerce sites
According to Google, two areas for improvement on retail and e-commerce sites are product pages, and registration and conversion tools.
The report said that 81 per cent of retail and e-commerce sites can improve product pages by allowing users to save products to a guest wishlist.
Meanwhile, 56 per cent of sites can improve registration and conversion by showcasing the “tangible benefits of creating an account”, and 51 per cent of these sites can do better by allowing users to purchase products as guests.
Real-time alerts in booking forms on travel sites
Likewise, features which travel sites can improve on are product pages, and registration and conversion tools, the report said.
For instance, 61 per cent of travel sites can improve product pages by allowing users to save travel options to a guest wishlist.
About 55 per cent of sites can also improve on registration and conversion by clearly highlighting mistakes in booking forms in real time. For 36 per cent of travel sites, improvements can be made by ensuring that input boxes in forms are correctly tagged for autofill.
Speed on all three sites
According to the study, the majority of sites in Asia Pacific surpass benchmark expectations for all factors – with the exception of speed.
According to the study, 53 per cent of consumers will leave a mobile site which takes more than three seconds to load. And every second of delay in mobile page load time leads to a 20 per cent drop in conversations.
While Singapore’s mobile sites are the second-fastest in the region with an average page load time of 7.0 seconds, Google noted that Asia Pacific mobile sites still have “some catching up to do” as they still fall far behind the recommended three-second limit.
Even China, which ranked top for speed in the region, had an average mobile page load time of 5.4 seconds.
To improve speed, Google said that 83 per cent of mobile sites it studied could do better by ensuring textual and image content are compressed, while 67 per cent should enable caching on the browser side. Around 59 per cent can also improve by identifying and fixing backend bottlenecks.