Consumers and enterprises have embraced tablets in large numbers for everything from web browsing and social networking to mission-critical business applications that increase employee productivity and drive revenue.

But great opportunity comes with great danger. Failure to deliver fast, quality web experiences and meet rising end-user expectations can reduce revenue, increase costs and damage the brand.

So what are end users’ expectations when it comes to the web experience on tablets?

To find out, Compuware commissioned the first global survey of tablet users’ web performance expectations. The study surveyed over more than 2,000 end users across North America, Europe and Asia who accessed the Internet on their tablet in the past six months.

Compuware’s global survey titled “Engaging the Tablet User: What They Expect from Websites,” revealed that tablet users expect websites and transactions to work flawlessly and tablets to perform as fast, or faster, than a laptop or desktop computer at home. User expectations have been shaped in part by years of using powerful PCs to access fast websites delivered by Internet leaders like Amazon and Google. Four out of ten global tablet users have experienced a problem when accessing websites. Among those that experienced a problem, two-thirds reported slow load times, and more than four out of ten experienced website crashes or problems with website functions. But the most interesting result the report states is the fact that tablet users globally have high expectations for web experiences and a third are less likely to make purchases online from companies that don’t meet those expectations.

Key findings of the survey Include:

Tablet users’ web experience expectations are high.

  • Almost 70% of tablet users expect a web site to load in two seconds or less.

  • More than two thirds of tablet users expect web sites to load just as quickly, or quicker, than on a desktop/laptop computer.

Web site issues are common for tablet users.

  • Four out of 10 tablet users have experienced web site problems.
  • Among those who have experienced a problem, slow load times are the most frequently cited issue (66%), followed by site crashes (44%), problems with site functions (42%) and issues with site format (40%).

Poor web experiences on tablets impact the bottom line.

  • Nearly half of tablet users will retry a web site only once or twice if it did not work initially.
  • A bad web-site experience will also drive 46% of tablet users to competitive web sites; 35%t are less likely to visit the problematic web site on any platform; and 33% are less likely to purchase from that company.

“Consumers and enterprises have embraced tablets in large numbers for everything from web browsing and social networking to key business applications that increase employee productivity and drive revenue,” said Steve Tack, CTO of Compuware APM. “However, based on the survey results, companies are not meeting tablet users’ web experience expectations. Tablet users represent a coveted audience that in general tends to spend more per order, so organizations that ignore tablet users do so at their own peril.”

Industry analyst firm Yankee Group expects tablet sales to reach 250 million worldwide by 2015. Certain is that the tablet growth is expected to continue with major new players such as Amazon, Samsung and Google/Motorola entering the fray.

Tablet users represent a coveted target audience. eBay has stated that tablet users spend 50% more than PC users, have higher average order values (AOV) and have higher or equivalent conversion rates.

But it’s not only retailers that see the benefits of growing tablet adoption. Actually for all organizations that depend on the web to drive business, tablets represent an important new channel for customer engagement.

Another survey of Compuware, conducted with 200 mobile users in Singapore and Malaysia revealed a similar result – that consumers’ expectations for mobile and application performance are not being met in Singapore and Malaysia, respectively.

The survey, entitled “What Users Want from Mobile”, includes the following key finding:

  • Mobile users’ expectations for mobile websites are high with 70% of Malaysian and 72% of Singaporean mobile web users expecting websites to load as quickly or faster on their mobile phone compared to the computer they use at home. However, more than half (63% in Malaysia and 58% in Singapore) said websites load more slowly on their phone.
  • In Singapore, 82% of mobile web users are willing to wait 5 seconds or less for a single web page to load. While in Malaysia, 87% of users are willing to wait for the same period of time before leaving the page.
  • There are more users in Malaysia who have had problems accessing a mobile website in the past year (96%), than in Singapore (91%). While this is the case, more than 86% of Malaysian mobile web users would access websites more often from their phone if the experience was fast and reliable, 6% more than Singapore users.
  • Mobile users do not have much patience for retrying a website or application that is not functioning initially – 58% of Malaysian users and 44% of Singaporean users will go to a competitor’s site instead. Majority of mobile web users are only willing to retry a website (90% Malaysia, 83% Singapore) or application (66% Malaysia, 87% Singapore) two times or less if it does not work initially.
  • A bad experience on a mobile website leaves mobile web users much less likely to return to, or recommend, a particular website. 55% of Malaysia users and 45% of Singapore users are unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone. 58% Malaysian and 67% are unlikely to recommend the site.

Shum Mew Toong, Regional Director, Compuware ASEAN said that the study has been a follow up to the company’s global study. Interestingly, as described above, the results have been quite similar, which just confirms that mobile users want fast and reliable mobile web and application experiences, wherever they are from. Unfortunately it is not what they’re receiving right now, so that the poor performance is preventing many companies from taking advantage of the opportunities being provided by increased mobile access.To read the full survey findings, please go to

By Daniela La Marca