Debenhams Webinar: Elevating the Mobile Customer Experience with Progressive Web Apps

Debenhams recently launched its new Mobify Progressive Web App, with some staggering results. The following is an excerpt from the Q&A between Mobify Lead Sales Engineer, James Semple, and Jim Hingston, Debenham’s Senior Digital Product Manager. To watch the full Debenhams webinar, click here.

JS: What challenges led you to look for a mobile web solution?

JH: We started the year with an site in place, which we had had for 6 or 7 years. It started out quite small but grew into a channel that was accounting for more than half our traffic.

The mobile site was managed by small team – with pretty limited support and development. Unfortunately, there were some legacy features in place that were getting in the way of us scaling and improving the performance. The m-site was ranked amongst the bottom of UK retailers for speed on mobile last year.

But we knew customers were using their devices to browse, so we needed something scalable, with better support, and that could meet our customers’ expectations.

Debenhams progress chart

JS: Why did you choose a Progressive Web App?

JH: Before we started researching, we were resigned to going to responsive (from the old adaptive site). Our desktop site wasn’t super fast either, so it was going to be a long and costly project. And the team wasn’t really excited about it.

Once we started researching Progressive Web Apps, we started getting excited about the speed, and the smoother, app-like experience. To some extent, we had a bit of a green field in that we could invest and look at this technology, but the main thing was that we felt this would give our customers the best experience. That’s really what we held in the highest esteem when we chose to go down this route.

JS: What kind of results have you seen so far?

JH: The results [of the Progressive Web App] have been staggering. We were strong going through peak trading. We’ve never seen numbers like this on mobile – over double-digit percentage point growth on mobile conversion so far, which is exceeding the business case.

Recently I saw an article that had us ranked as one of the top mobile sites in the UK, which is quite a transition in a year. [With the PWA] we can see every point in the conversion funnel has had a boost. There’s also a lot more orders in the morning after customers have received our email or they’re commuting. Because of the speed of the new site, customers are now checking out, whereas before they were just browsing. We’re looking forward to sharing more results in the new year when there are more numbers and we’ve had more time to analyze them.

Watch the webinar to hear the rest of the Debenhams story. 


Our webinar with Debenhams originally aired on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017.

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