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Debenhams ups its multichannel game with new PWA website

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Debenhams is strengthening its multi-channel offering with the launch of a new mobile site based around progressive web app (PWA) technology – giving UK customers the best features of mobile apps with the broad reach of mobile web.

The Progressive Web App (PWA), which uses Google-backed technology, is a key development in Debenhams digital and multi-channel strategy. The PWA creates a smooth and streamlined app-like shopping experience on the web, without requiring an app store download. The new site means that customers will be able to browse twice as fast as before.

Delivered by SapientRazorfish and Mobify, the new site went live in early October after less than four months of development.

Ross Clemmow, Managing Director Retail, Digital, Food & Events at Debenhams , explains: “We have seen unprecedented growth in mobile in the last two years. Research shows that 50% of UK online retail sales are now made through mobile devices (smartphones and tablets)¹. We know customers get frustrated by a slow site, even more so on mobile, with as many as 70% admitting they would leave a site if it loaded slowly.”

He continues: “The new site will transform our customer’s experience of shopping with Debenhams on their mobiles. We now have technology that not only delivers a better, faster experience but allows us to keep pace with shoppers expectations’ whilst on the move.”

Mobify CEO, Igor Faletski, adds: “Debenhams recognised the need to put mobile customers first. The PWA gives them a premium online shopping experience and positions them for future growth. We’re very excited to be working with the Debenhams team.”

The move is part of the ongoing ‘Debenhams Redesigned’ strategy, implemented to drag the retailer into the modern multichannel world. The strategy centres on mobile and comes after research back in April by digital performance intelligence company Catchpoint found that the then current Debenhams website was slow and old fashioned and featured way too many items per page – this, the study found, meant that over a two day period, a mobile shopper visiting the Debenhams site would have had to download almost three times as many megabytes of data (8-10MBs) than the sites of these competitors, which consistently required mobile visitors to download the same relatively low amount of data (3-4MB).

That all now seems to have been addressed – and then some – in the new app. Check it out in the video below

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