Chrome Dev Summit 2017: Ecommerce Highlights

For the second year running, the Mobify team had the luxury of sending a large team to Chrome Dev Summit. Chrome Dev Summit 2017 was a strong contrast to the flashier Google IO event, as the focus is squarely on where the web is going and what are the latest and greatest web APIs that are available.

Bridging the gap between new web APIs and browser technologies and what eventually translates into great retail experiences can be a challenge, but the main theme I pulled out was the relentless focus on reducing friction across the shopper experience.

When thinking about friction in the shopper journey, we can break them into areas that typically stand out.

Registration Request

Marketing teams love it when shoppers create accounts. The insights and future engagement derived from such data is invaluable. However, shoppers will easily drop out of the funnel if they are forced to register before purchase. To balance a great shopper experience with the business needs of collecting that valuable information, Google has pivoted the Credentials Management API into Google Identity, which now features One-Tap Sign-up. With this, shoppers who have an existing Google account can create a new account on a retailer site with just one click, removing yet another tedious form to fill out and password to remember.

Customer Login

Credentials Management also features Auto Sign-in. In this case, instead of forcing a shopper to sign in with yet another password to see their orders and wishlists, browsers that support Credentials Management will automatically sign-in a user, in this case based on their existing Google Account. Shoppers love guest checkout, but what if Registered Checkout was just as easy? cited that with One-tap Sign-up and Auto Sign-in, there were 2x more shoppers who made it to checkout signed-in, which resulted in an increase of 2.8x for conversion.

Checkout Dropoff

Checkout remains an area where friction is high, but easily addressed with current web capabilities. Improving autofill compatibility is the lowest hanging fruit available to retailers.

The first recommendation is to review and track all Autofill capabilities, especially on mobile where form filling is a major impediment. The Chrome team notes that over 9 billion interactions a month are aided by form Autofill, saving 12 seconds on median form entry. That’s a lot of time saved for all users!

On the payments side, we’re now starting to see strong momentum on the Payment Request API across Desktop and Mobile. J. Crew was cited as a great retail example, where surprisingly 50% of checkout traffic went through the lower friction Payment Request flow. In addition to this browser capability, Google announced support for integrated Google Payments, meaning any retailer who implements Payment Request API can now offer payments with any credit cards stored within the Chrome browser, but also any credit cards stored on file with Google.

Organic Search

Organic search remains a dominant channel for retailers. A year ago at Chrome Dev Summit, AMP for ecommerce was still in its infancy, with limited examples from companies like eBay. Fast forward a year, and we have Overstock as a prime example that has full parity between their AMP pages and ecommerce site, which means all 4 million of their product pages load instantly from search results pages. Overstock has cited that adding AMP to all product pages with feature parity resulted in an 8% increase in conversion and 36% uplift in revenue overall. That is an amazing improvement for an acquisition channel where traffic quality can vary heavily.

Offline Mode

Offline is not traditionally an area retailers are thinking about the web, mainly because shoppers have been trained with Page Not Found and the beloved Downasaur easter egg. But with omnichannel and in-store picking up speed, we’ve seen some great examples of offline usage such as:

  • The new Starbucks PWA where you can bring up your barcode offline to pay for coffee orders, just like you can with their native app. 20% of Starbucks transactions are paid with the barcode, and bringing this reliability to the web is a big win.
  • Trivago and eBay allow users to browse search results and previously viewed items even while offline. Trivago notes 67% of users recover from offline with this better experience and they convert 97% better.

The Chrome Dev Summit 2017 announcements show the momentum behind the friction-reducing technologies and best practices that Progressive Web Apps are bringing to shoppers. We’re excited to see what new use cases retailers can dream up and experiment with to show off at the next Chrome Dev Summit.

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