Hobbycraft Crafts Progressive Web App Experience for 30% Lift in Revenue

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Mobile Revenue+30%
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Mobile Transactions+26%

There is a rich cultural tradition of craft making in the U.K., where nearly two thirds of ecommerce purchases are expected to be on smartphones by 2020. Hobbycraft sits firmly between these trends as the leading specialist retailer of art and craft products with 90 stores. With a three million-strong Hobbycraft Club, new initiatives for helping fans share their creations online, and the U.K’s  #1 craft blog, Hobbycraft wanted a mobile solution that offered the best way to engage its busy customers.

The Challenge: Capture traffic, create app-like experience, increase key metrics

When Hobbycraft decided to build a Progressive Web App on the Mobify Digital Experience Platform, the team had three goals: capture traffic shifting to mobile devices, offer shoppers an app-like experience without requiring an app download, and increase key metrics like revenue per user. The approach has generated measurable revenue and put Hobbycraft at the forefront of retailers that are keeping up with changing shopper preferences through customer-first mobile commerce innovations.

“Our customers are project-based and motivated to get the supplies they need as fast as possible to get started on their next projects,” says Daniel Collier, Multi-Channel Development Manager at Hobbycraft. “We raised a challenge to find the best possible way to engage with our busy shoppers on-the-go, as well as deliver a best-in-retail purchasing journey.”

The Solution: Speed, reliability, and engagement

The Hobbycraft team loved the idea of a Progressive Web App with its promise of speed, reliability, and engagement because it took a long time to complete a purchasing journey on Hobbycraft’s legacy mobile site. Browsing products and adding them to the bag wasn’t intuitive or fast, and filtering search results was cumbersome – an important feature to get right since Hobbycraft has a huge inventory of over 25,000 products. Mobify introduced new design elements based on industry research that made it easier to find products faster. “Preventing customers from abandoning their shopping carts wasn’t our sole goal, we wanted to make the whole process so easy that they would want to return over and over again,” Collier says.

To design and deliver its PWA, Hobbycraft turned to Mobify as the leader in Progressive Web Apps for retail. As part of the Mobify Platform, Hobbycraft was able to layer a PWA front-end on to its existing ecommerce platform to meet the needs of mobile shoppers without replatforming or starting from scratch. By separating the front-end and backend through an integration layer, the Mobify Platform sets Hobbycraft up to make any future backend changes independent of the front-end (or vice-versa).

Mobify partner ITG handled the process of integrating the platform and quickly building out the PWA front-end experience.

The Results: Putting the PWA to the test

Hobbycraft elected to conduct an A/B test, directing half of its traffic to the existing mobile site and the other to the new PWA. “We wanted to show our leadership team exactly where any uplift was coming from and be able to pinpoint the impact of our new PWA,” says Collier. Over a two-week period, the test included 435,367 customers and 7,522 orders. “The results were dramatic, with a 30% increase in revenue per user, and a 26% increase in transactions per user,” explains Collier.

The site is really fast and repeat visits load almost instantly. Thanks to the PWA’s service worker technology, it can even load offline, so shoppers can continue browsing without a network connection. “We now have a very fast site that’s easier to navigate, as well as app-like features like add-to-homescreen and instant page transitions – in short, the best possible mobile customer experience available today,” says Collier.

What’s more, adds Collier, “Not only do we have verifiable performance and ecommerce revenue results, but a mobile site that is truly engaging, one that crafters will want to return to and share with others.”

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