Just a split second delay in page load time can result in a 25 percent loss in conversions. High-traffic volumes, which should be a bonanza for any mobile app producer, can turn into a nightmare if you lack the capacity to handle the unprecedented load. By nature, smartphones have less capacity than desktops, making it sensitive to anything that will affect its speed.
It won’t matter how cutting edge your site looks, or how dazzling your content is. Your products won’t even make a dent in user perspectives if it takes 5 seconds for the first page to load.
Users don’t care whose fault it is. They want the same performance whether they’re the only user on the application or one among fifty thousand. The goal of any mobile load testing strategy is to guarantee a quality user experience even under peak load.
Mobile Load Testing: The New Criteria
In order to meet these expectations, you need to be able to handle huge loads under a different set of circumstances that focus on mobile users.
1. Mobile users connect using different devices. Devices with greater computing capacity will be able to handle your app better when its under pressure than devices with less capacity. You have to test for smaller devices and make sure every type of user experience is tested for.
2. Mobile users connect at different locations, with different levels of coverage. Different users will connect in different cities, with varying levels of network coverage. This impacts the performance of your mobile application under any circumstance, even more so when the application server is running overtime.
3. Servers. Sometimes servers will perform daily batch processing activities that can slow things down. They will do it at a time when things are slow for them, but that doesn’t mean your application is experiencing the same slow period.
Fifteen years ago, a billion people were connected to the internet. Today, there are over 4 billion accessing the internet — most by mobile devices. The chances of an unexpected spike are far higher, and it will most likely come from mobile users.
When Spikes Occur
The first type of spike comes when you try to manufacture it. It can emerge from:
A targeted campaign: You planned it, and it happened.
Special content. You were targeting a piece of content to go viral.
A promotion: A discount, or a special deal.
In these scenarios, you did something with the express intent of increasing traffic. As a result, you are waiting for the upsurge to happen.
There are other ways a spike can happen
One of your web pages features an SEO term that just became the most popular keyword of the day.
Someone with a huge social media following shared how they love your product.
Google changed the SEO algorithm in your favor, and your rankings just went up 50% across the board.
A journalist wrote an article on your company with a link to your home page.
Absolutely no reason at all.
These are all unanticipated, albeit very welcome, spikes in traffic. You didn’t plan them. You are either ready for them or you’re not. The day will be an amazing ride, or a total disaster depending whether or not you performed adequate mobile load testing.
With 4 billion mobile users today projected to become 6 billion by the end of the decade, the chances of a surprise spike in traffic are much higher.
Are you ready?