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Over the last several years, many users have adopted mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, as their primary means of accessing the Internet. A number of studies published over the past year illustrate this trend, especially among millennials. In addition, improvements to, and greater deployment of this technology by mobile network providers have led to mobile connection speeds that rival fixed broadband connections in some geographies. LTE-Advanced, which is being rolled out by carriers in countries around the world, provides for download speeds in the hundreds of Mbps range, with the latest Android and Apple devices including support for LTE-Advanced.
With the continued growth in online commerce, one of the best ways to anticipate and prepare for the coming holiday season is to look back on what happened in 2014. A recent report from NRF captured data from 2014 holiday activities in North America. At a high level, the report found that consumers are more confident in the economy - leading to a likely increase in spending.
"...Confidence is on the rise -- 49.7% are confident or very confident in the economy, up from 42.2% last year -- and average gas prices are the lowest they've been in six years." 2015 Retail Holiday Planning Playbook, July 2015, National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Stats. How geeky. And boring. I hardly remember anything from basic elementary math, let alone anything to do with statistical analysis at a college / university level. But it turns out that statistics can be incredibly useful in describing what's happening across a population, such as when you use Real User Monitoring (RUM) to get performance metrics (such as load times) across your user base.
Why is this important? Glad you asked. There is well-accepted evidence from some of the largest e-tailers including Amazon and Wal-Mart on the effect of conversions and sales revenues with a site's performance. Most of this data centers around median scores (in other words, the "average" performance of a page), where an increase (or decrease) in a page's median load times correlate to measurable changes in conversion rates. The reason why we use median instead of mean is because median is much more resistant to outliers that may markedly affect the "average" number, and hence distort what we perceive as the typical experience when visiting a page.
Consider this - the number of months needed to reach 1 million users in India since launch :
Facebook - 10 months
Twitter - 12 months
Instagram - 2.5 months
HotStar - .2 months (6 days !!!)
So what is HotStar? HotStar is one of the recent OTT video applications launched by Star India, launched to coincide with the start of the cricket world cup. Star is one of the largest media broadcasting houses in India and is part of the global NewsCorp network. In the 40 days since being launched, Hotstar reached 40 million downloads and is still going strong. The platform today streams a wide variety of entertainment content and is reported to support more than 7000 device types.
Family and Internet safety advocates have lobbied long and hard to government regulators and Internet service and content providers for stronger measures and controls over the types of content viewable by children when online. And based on recent reports, some ISPs have responded in a favorable way, by implementing services that place automatic blocks on "high risk" websites including those that feature nudity or sexual content or are related to drugs, alcohol or tobacco, among others. Furthermore, users seem to be taking advantage of these services rather than opting out of them, creating safer Internet environments in their homes, while Internet providers reap the benefits of high scores for customer satisfaction and the potential for long-term revenue growth. A true win-win!
It's summertime! While most people are relaxing at the beach or enjoying a BBQ, here at Akamai we've already shifted sights towards the winter to provide relief for retailers by ensuring they have fast, reliable and secure e-commerce sites in time for the holidays. The holiday season, after all, is just around the corner. Here are four key ways we are helping retailers convert more shoppers into buyers while also securing their web experiences:
(1) Make the experience fast
Last year, for the first time, Akamai saw more than 50% of holiday traffic from mobile devices during certain periods of the day. This trend will undoubtedly continue as shoppers embrace multi-channel experiences while accessing content from different devices at different times of the day. Akamai's Real User Monitoring (RUM) provides retailers with a detailed understanding of the actual page load time visitors experience across the myriad of devices and networks. Akamai Ion provides the fastest acceleration for content accessed on all types of devices and networks including the unique challenges of responsive web design, congested cellular networks and those pesky API calls which slow down the mobile app experience.