The mobile web remains the most widely used platform to search, browse, and shop. However, it’s no longer enough to have just a mobile presence. Today business growth requires the speedy mobile experience that people expect and demand.
In a previous e-portfolio post, I discussed the customer journey for airline travelers and what should be expected from a native mobile app experience. That does not discount the need for a mobile-optimized, device-aware website. Many travelers who do not have brand affinity/loyalty with a specific airline will browse multiple airline sites to look for the best price.
Fifty-four percent of people say that as the load time for a brand’s mobile site increases, so does their frustration. (Source 1)
This presents all airlines with a simple choice: either provide customers the kind of mobile experience they expect or be prepared to watch those customers quickly go elsewhere. I decided to run a quick audit using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how a few of the US-based airlines stack up against each other. Here are the results:
JetBlue scored the highest but is still performing well below Google’s expectations. This was extremely surprising to me, knowing that the phone in our hands is the most critical platform during the airline traveler’s customer journey. Poor mobile performance now has an impact on a brand’s SEO, with Google’s Mobile-first approach. If these brands, and others who are not optimizing the mobile experience/performance, continue to ignore this, their organic search ranking will suffer.
Source 1: Google/Civic Science 2018, U.S., n=1,131, A18+ smartphone owners, Nov. 2018.