The website is built on the Mobify Platform, leveraging the latest mobile technologies for retail sites to make them feel and look like an app, but without having to download it from an app store.
Speed is a key feature of the PWA-driven site, which launched in December, with Mobify claiming that its platform is typically capable of at least doubling the speed of the previous mobile site. this has been demonstrated Debenhams [IRDX RDEB], which launched one of the UK’s first retail Progressive Web Apps last quarter.
“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 communicate with shoppers as well as deliver a best-in-retail purchasing journey. Through its unique approach to combining the latest mobile web technologies and mobile shopping best practices, Mobify exceeded our expectations. We now have a very fast site with far easier navigation, as well as app-like features such as add-to-home screen and the ability to send push notifications — in short, the best possible mobile customer experience available today.”
To deliver Hobbycraft’s PWA site, Mobify partnered with solutions provider ITG. Hobbycraft’s move into state-of-art mobile commerce come at the intersection of two major trends. First, a boom in mobile shopping with approximately two-thirds of total e-commerce purchases in the UK expected to be on smartphones by 2020. Second, continued growth in arts and crafts, which the Craft & Hobby Association reports to be worth £3.4 bn in the UK.
Performance is critical to online shopping, with retailers previously turning to native to provide fast speeds. However, studies reveal the majority of smartphone users download zero apps per month. Therefore, PWAs are being employed more widely to meet the need for speed and better user experience of today, while reaching more customers on the web.
“Hobbycraft has a passionate customer base so it’s great to see them embracing an exciting and innovative Progressive Web App for a highly personalized, faster and more engaging shopper experience,” says Mobify chief executive officer Igor Faletski. “Beyond engagement, retailers using Mobify PWAs are seeing impressive results, not just in mobile sessions and conversions, but in revenues. We can’t wait to see what Hobbycraft delivers with its impressive new mobile commerce approach.”
The new Hobbycraft PWA will be enhanced throughout 2018 to include additional features such as Apple Pay and an enhanced store locator.