How to Harness Google Tech for Instant E-Commerce
Shoppers like to make purchases quickly, especially when using their phones. When pages are slow to load, they miss out — and so do retailers. Speed has a well-documented correlation with conversion rate: the faster your site, the more visitors will convert.
Thankfully, there are two new technologies that e-commerce professionals can use to speed things up: Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) and progressive web apps (PWAs). We like to call them “start fast” and “stay fast,” respectively.
AMPs vs. PWAs
Google makes its money selling ads. More visits to a publisher’s site equals more money in Google’s pocket. To decrease load times, Google created AMPs.
PWAs, on the other hand, don’t have to be loaded more than once. When someone clicks on content, servers display what’s available immediately and fill in everything else once it loads. Users perceive that the content is loading faster (even if it actually isn’t), creating a more positive experience.
A fast-loading site is especially important for mobile. In fact, 53 percent of mobile website visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load. Furthermore, a one-second delay can reduce conversion rates by 7 percent. For sites that make $100,000 a day, that can mean $2.5 million in lost sales annually.
Opportunities for Retailers
Combining AMPs with a PWA offers the best solution for e-commerce professionals and creates nearly instantaneous load times and rich experiences, with conversion rates closer to native apps than responsive websites. This means more satisfied, engaged site visitors and higher sales. Brands can capitalize on these new technologies in a couple of ways:
1. Embrace the technologies in tandem.
Now is the time to get ahead of the curve by combining the two technologies. Only a handful of retailers have PWAs because they've historically required a lot of custom coding to create. PWA platforms make it a lot faster and less expensive to launch a PWA, and that lets retailers stand out from the crowd without breaking the bank.
Whether you bring in a third-party vendor or custom-build a PWA yourself, this approach will allow you to better engage your site visitors and, therefore, boost your bottom line.
2. Study this trend religiously.
Stay up-to-date on AMPs and PWAs so you can jump on this train when the time is right. Be sure to refer to the AMP Roadmap update for current information. Publishers have used AMP for the past two years, and it’s just now making its way into e-commerce. Brands that stay in the know could be the first to embrace AMP and gain a major leg up on the competition.
The benefits of PWA and AMP technologies are real and well-documented. E-commerce giants like Lancôme USA, Flipkart and AliExpress have already made the investment. The opportunity now is to beat your competitors with a more engaging mobile experience for the next holiday season. While your competitors’ sites are still loading, your site visitors will be engaging with your brand and making purchases.