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Hobbycraft boost mobile sales and revenue with PWA roll out

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Leading UK crafts maker Hobbycraft’s testing of progressive web apps (PWAs) has seen mobile transactions on mobile grow by 26% and mobile revenues up by 30%.

Hobbycraft, which has 90 stores and 3 million members of its online Hobbycraft Club, has long wanted to leverage mobile and the company has been working with Mobify to develop a mobile presence to bring together the technology and these many fans.

When Hobbycraft decided to build a Progressive Web App on the Mobify Digital Experience Platform, the team had three goals: capture traffic shifting to mobile devices, offer shoppers an app-like experience without requiring an app download and to increase key metrics like revenue per user.

The approach has generated measurable revenue and put Hobbycraft at the forefront of retailers that are keeping up with changing shopper preferences through customer-first mobile commerce innovations.

“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 engage with our busy shoppers on-the-go, as well as deliver a best-in-retail purchasing journey.”

PWAs offered the answer, with their promise of speed, reliability, and engagement and because they streamline the previously slow and lengthy purchasing journey on Hobbycraft’s legacy mobile site.

Prior to using PWAs, browsing products and adding them to the bag wasn’t intuitive or fast,and filtering search results was cumbersome – an important feature to get right since Hobbycraft has a huge inventory of over 25,000 products.

Mobify introduced new design elements based on industry research that made it easier to find products faster.

“Preventing customers from abandoning their shopping carts wasn’t our sole goal, we wanted to make the whole process so easy that they would want to return over and over again,” Collier says.

As part of the Mobify Platform, Hobbycraft was able to layer a PWA front-end on to its existing ecommerce platform to meet the needs of mobile shoppers without replatforming or starting from scratch. By separating the front-end and backend through an integration layer, the Mobify Platform sets Hobbycraft up to make any future backend changes independent of the front-end (or vice-versa). 

Mobify partner ITG handled the process of integrating the platform and quickly building out the PWA front-end experience.

Hobbycraft elected to conduct an A/B test, directing half of its traffic to the existing mobile site and the other to the new PWA.

“We wanted to show our leadership team exactly where any uplift was coming from and be able to pinpoint the impact of our new PWA,” says Collier. Over a two-week period, the test included 435,367 customers and 7,522 orders.

“The results were dramatic, with a 30% increase in revenue per user, and a 26% increase in transactions per user,” explains Collier. 

“We now have a very fast site that’s easier to navigate, as well as app-like features like add-to-homescreen and instant page transitions – in short, the best possible mobile customer experience available today,” says Collier.

What’s more, adds Collier, “Not only do we have verifiable performance and ecommerce revenue results, but a mobile site that is truly engaging, one that crafters will want to return to and share with others.”

Image: Mobify/Hobbycraft

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