Greater access to powerful smartphones, faster internet speeds and network connectivity have conditioned the modern consumer to expect information and services to be available instantly at the touch of a button—regardless of the device or app they’re using, where they are located, or the network conditions in that location.
Studies show that the stress response to delays in mobile speed are comparable to watching a horror movie or solving a mathematical problem, and greater than waiting in a checkout line at a retail store. And delays caused by mobile speed aren’t just frustrating for the app user, they also have a negative impact on business results. A one-second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%. If the user can find the same item, food or content on another app that performs better, it is highly likely that they will switch to that provider.
Introducing the HeadSpin App Performance Index (HAPI)
With this in mind, HeadSpin created HAPI, the mobile industry’s first-ever application performance index for benchmarking the relative latency of leading apps in a given category. For our inaugural report, the capability was showcased in prototype for digital experience leaders for contactless shopping, restaurant delivery, and food delivery apps in the US.
Highlights from the report include:
- The Best Apps Excel at Launch – The best contactless commerce apps took under 2 seconds to load, and load times of under 2 seconds was indicative of strong scores. However, on average, all contactless commerce apps took 4.1 seconds to load. According to Google/SOASTA research, as load times progress from one to five seconds, bounce rates increase by 90 percent.
- Search is Strong for Retail, Mostly – The top retail apps averaged a search time of 2.4 seconds. However this average was negatively impacted by some of the largest retailers, including Walmart and Amazon, who featured slow search times. Meanwhile, the Shop app from Shopify excelled across all metrics and was 5.5x faster than Amazon in returning search results.
The HAPI score for a given app is calculated based on a new uniquely user-centric metric that we’ve dubbed Total Spinner Time (TST). TST is a measure of the total amount of time that a user spends waiting for an app to present readable, viewable, or usable content.
To measure the TST, over a hundred tests were run per app on a variety of Android and iOS devices across major US cities and carrier networks. This was made possible by HeadSpin’s unique Global Device Infrastructure and Digital Experience Intelligence platform for automated end-to-end testing and AI-powered analysis of mobile and web experiences.
Future HAPI reports will focus on additional verticals and geographies. We will be releasing these in the months to come.
Read the full inaugural report to learn more about our results and methodology.
Eliminating the spinner wheel
As we learn to cope with the “new normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic and rely more than ever on our devices to stay connected, get our jobs done, and teach our children, our patience with the infamous spinner wheel has steadily declined. You can see this on LinkedIn or Twitter every other day—users will mercilessly take down any organization whose app provides a slow mobile experience. This is especially true when stress levels are high, for instance, while ordering food during an important work meeting, or whenever local government Shelter-in-Place advisories throw up an error when you try to access them.
HeadSpin can help you get rid of that spinner wheel once and for all.
Get your HAPI analysis today
For developers of mobile apps, a HAPI analysis can be customized for your app, for the set of KPIs for the critical user journey steps you care about most, relative to the set of industry peers of your choice. In addition, a custom Intelligence Report includes HeadSpin’s unique AI-based insights and recommendations for what you can do to improve your score.
And stay tuned for more HAPI-ness as we release additional reports and enhancements!