Mobile has fundamentally changed shopper expectations, and Google is changing the way the web works, from search to SEO to performance expectations to the shopping cart. Retailers who aren’t adjusting their strategy accordingly will struggle to stay relevant.
At Chrome Dev Summit, we saw the synthesis of years of work from the Chrome team – announcements around Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), Progressive Web Apps (PWA), and Web Payments are threads in a larger pattern. The world’s biggest shopping platform, the web, is transforming into a convergence of web and apps, to finally meet the demands and opportunities of mobile.
Download How to Stay Relevant as Google Transforms the Web for your technical guide to Progressive Web Apps, AMP, and Web Payments.
Accelerate Your Mobile Pages
Accelerated Mobile Pages is a Google-led open source initiative for creating mobile-optimized content. AMP has been traditionally geared towards publishers who create/publish content, but is expanding to other use cases, notably ecommerce, by supporting more dynamic elements.
The top 3 benefits of AMP are:
- Better SEO: Organic search is a dominant acquisition channel for retailers, and Google will start exposing AMP results within their search results. We expect an increase in acquisition based on the presence of AMP for popular pages and search terms.
- Lower bounce rates: Long page load times is a dominant reason for high bounce rates. AMP pages will result in incredibly low initial page load times and should reduce bounce rates considerably.
- Faster performance: Performance ultimately affects conversion rates as highlighted in the Q2 Mobile Commerce Benchmark report. AMP combined with Progressive Web Apps will greatly improve the perceived performance as ecommerce scenarios mature within the AMP ecosystem.
Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps as envisioned by Google are creating a new gold standard for the customer experience that shoppers will come to expect from retailers. A Progressive Web App is effectively a next-generation app that streams to a customer’s device and is fully indexed by search. This means that mobile users will one day have apps without having to download them, which, for retailers, offers the promise of a more frictionless experience for shoppers looking to search, buy, and checkout quickly.
The top 3 benefits of Progressive Web Apps are:
- Speed. Websites built with Progressive Web App technology are significantly faster. Unlike traditional websites, they are made for mobile and made for speed – a shopper can buy a product in just a few quick taps. These websites also enable an offline mode, so that customers can continue browsing in poor wireless reception areas like on public transit. Faster websites have higher conversion rates, so websites built with Progressive Web App technology can result in increased revenue.
- Push Notifications – Now on the Web. Progressive technology integrates push notifications into web browsers. Web push notifications are an exciting way to interact with mobile customers because they’re native to the mobile device and can be personal and timely. Many retailers are seeing better engagement and metrics with push notification campaigns than they do with email campaigns.
- Quick Path to Native Apps. In the past, retailers felt they had to choose between building a mobile website or building a mobile app. With Progressive Web Apps, they can get both. Using a technology like Mobify, retailers can leverage their Progressive Web App investment to quickly build an iOS and Android app – thereby eliminating the need to choose between web development to reach a wider audience, or app development to engage the most loyal customers. Integrating the development and maintenance of web and apps lowers costs significantly.
Save the World From Annoying Checkout Forms
Checkouts have always been a pain point on mobile for both retailers and customers. There’s certain important information that needs to be exchanged before goods can be purchased and shipped, but that’s easier said than done on mobile. Whether it’s from filling out forms with small, virtual keyboards, security concerns, or simply being interrupted, web payments inhibited by poor checkout flows have meant that conversions on mobile have remained 66% lower than desktop.
However, the PaymentRequest API is designed to eliminate checkout forms, thereby increasing conversions on mobile. It vastly shortens the amount of time it takes shoppers to make web payments, providing a more consistent user experience and enabling m-commerce merchants to easily accept disparate payment methods.
Watch Google’s Webinar on eliminating checkout forms to learn more.
The top 3 benefits of PaymentRequest API are:
- Super quick checkout flow. Cumbersome checkouts are a major source of customer drop-off and cost retailers millions of dollars in revenue every year. Chrome is already trusted by users to store personal information such as name, email, phone, address information, and even credit cards, which is the same information that’s requested of users in almost every checkout flow. PaymentRequest allows us to quickly share this information with websites once user consent is given, making web payments quick and seamless.
- User-verified data. PaymentRequest transmits quality, user-verified data that you know is up-to-date and correct. Customers can easily toggle between different shipping addresses and payment options.
- Security. Fast and secure web payments means supporting new web payment methods, such as Android Pay, that rely on tokenization to protect both merchants and users.
PaymentRequest allows allows you to easily explore new UX patterns. You can add a BUY NOW button directly to your product page if you want, tailoring the checkout to go from mobile micro-moment to checkout in a matter of (uninterrupted) seconds. It’s all up to you, and what works best for your customers.
A Better Customer Journey
Each of these technologies touch a different part of the customer journey, from search to browsing to purchase. As such, they should be used in conjunction to provide your customers the best possible experience across their entire shopping journey.
Leveraging AMP, Progressive Web App, and web payment technology through a platform like Mobify should be a part of every retailer’s mobile customer engagement strategy. The mobile web experience that consumers will come to expect will only be possible through this type of technology that enables a more personalized, faster and more engaging experience.
Download our technical guide to learn how to leverage all of Google’s latest technologies covered at the 2016 Chrome Dev Summit.