AMP for Ecommerce | A retailer’s guide to Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMP for Ecommerce: A retailer’s guide to Accelerated Mobile Pages 

Simply: Mobile speed equals more money

Content on the mobile web is now four times faster, thanks to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). The Google-led initiative, which guarantees a consistently fast and beautiful web experience, is perfect for ecommerce retailers looking to gain an edge with mobile. How? By delivering an instant, first impression, better capturing customers into checkout.

We all know that mobile speed either closes or kills the sale, so why not deliver the fastest experience available?

But it’s More Than Just Speed

The benefits of AMP go beyond mobile speed. It’s also about SEO and user engagement.

AMPs are only discovered through search queries and feature a lightning-bolt icon, which is a guarantee from Google, to users, that the page is an excellent experience on mobile. Google’s performance assurance, in turn, increases click-through rates from search, driving more users into your site. AMP pages also appear higher in mobile search results. Yes, it’s true. While Google has yet to confirm that AMPs rank higher, we’ve measured a 12% average increase in search-engine results page listing position.

While Google has been adamant that AMP pages will not receive a boost in page ranking – yet – their algorithm takes mobile performance – speed in particular – into account. It’s really a case of semantics: Be fast and create a mobile website that caters to users or risk damaging search-engine results.

AMP for ecommerce comparison
AMP for ecommerce comparison

A Seamless Shopping Experience

As an example, let’s use Portero, a luxury goods reseller, to showcase how Accelerated Mobile Pages enhance the overall shopping experience. Here’s the play by play:

When a customer searches “Chanel bag,” for example, on their mobile device, the AMP’d product page will be displayed in the results page. Portero’s search results page will feature a lightning-bolt icon next to the word “AMP,” telling the user that the page is both a fast and mobile friendly experience. The customer taps the AMP page and instantly the Chanel bag is displayed, offering all the functionality – from color selection and product images to related products – necessary to make a purchase decision.

A continuous shopping experience
A continuous shopping experience

If the user adds the Chanel bag to their cart – or takes any subsequent action – they are immediately redirected to the appropriate page in the checkout funnel on the main mobile site. The transition from AMP to the main site is totally seamless.

What about ecommerce functionality?

While no custom JavaScript is allowed in AMP, by using a variety of development techniques – mainly combining AMP components and CSS – rich functionality is possible. This is especially important when building AMPs for ecommerce, where a robust, compelling shopping experience is critical.

By balancing both usability and speed, AMP pages can maintain all the necessary functionality for an effective shopping experience. Specific examples of functionality available with Accelerated Mobile Pages include:

  • Integration with enterprise inventory system
  • Ability to choose – in real time – from product options (e.g. sizes, colors, models, etc.)
  • Works with main site’s cart and checkout
  • Real-time pricing
  • Use existing security and payment options

Need more functionality? Check out WompMobile’s CEO, Madison Miner, as he presents at the first-ever AMP conference, showcasing clever hacks for creating ecommerce AMP pages.

Does the Data Support the Hype? Absolutely.

WompMobile recently partnered with Google to evaluate performance metrics across 500,000 ecommerce AMP pages. On average, our AMPs increased mobile conversion rates 105%, decreased bounce rates by 31% and increased click-through rates from search engines by 29%.

WompMobile AMP for Ecommerce Case Study
WompMobile consistently improves e-commerce clients’ conversion rates with AMP sites

The 29% increase in CTRs from search particularly caught our attention. We attribute the performance benefit to two factors:

  1. The growing awareness and association of the lightning-bolt icon, garnering more clicks from users; and
  2. Because AMPs rank higher in search results, they receive more traffic.

Another way to think about how AMPs complement mobile monetization is to consider where they fit into the customer acquisition funnel.

AMP for ecommerce and acquisition funnel
How Accelerated Mobile Pages fit within customer acquisition funnel

The list of platforms displaying AMPs is growing rapidly, already including Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. And because AMPs are given priority – with both an icon, denoting performance, and through higher page rank – they drive more users into the checkout funnel. Also, AMPs present users with instant load speeds, resulting in a first impression that increases user engagement. From reduced bounce rates to higher conversion rates, AMPs replace traditional landing pages, using greater speed and a better user experience to convert mobile browsing into mobile revenue.

AMP for Ecommerce Best Practices

Not all AMPs are created equal. The following are tips and best practices for creating a beautiful, fast and performance-driven AMP page:

  • Choose Wisely. Our recommended approach is to only AMP the upper funnel or page types that are discovered in organic search. For ecommerce AMP sites, typically, that includes a combination of the homepage, category pages and product pages.
  • Beware of plugins. Using generic, pre-fabricated AMP templates undermines the experience and often backfires, turning users away. If AMPs don’t have the same look and feel or mirror the functionality of the main site, the user journey is disjointed, causing immediate abandonment.
  • Brand alignment is critical. Ensure AMPs have the same styling – including images, colors, footers, social and more – to increase the likelihood of user engagement.
  • Remain in sync. AMPs should remain automatically synchronized with the canonical page. That means: Should a change to a product page be made on the desktop, the AMP version reflects the update, creating alignment across all channels.
  • Fully functional. An AMP page should not be a watered-down version of the full page, rather, a faster version. If the full site has product filtering, product sorting, image carousels, option selections or other features, the AMP pages should include the same.

A First-Movers Advantage

As adoption of AMP of ecommerce grows, the SEO benefits will diminish. Today, there’s a first-movers advantage to embrace AMP technology, as competition lags behind. However, in the near future, the benefit won’t include SEO gains but, rather, be about parity. Choosing to deliver AMPs will soon become a decision about competing on a level playing field, versus gaining an advantage. We’re moving toward a much faster mobile web and AMP is getting us there.

Here is what some ecommerce companies are saying:

Portero’s mobile conversion rate triples with Google’s AMP

Portero’s mobile conversion rate triples with Google’s AMP
April Berthene | Mar 13, 2017
“When people search on Google and are looking for specific pages or items, those pages (that are) AMP-ed are coming up first,” Clarbour says. “It’s a better user experience. It’s one or two less clicks to find the product that they are really looking for.” – Alexis Clarbour, director, Portero

What eBay, Campmor and other retailers have learned from using Google AMP

What eBay, Campmor and other retailers have learned from using Google AMP
Tanya Dua | Mar 21, 2017
“When it comes to mobile retail, load speed is the difference between a sale or abandonment,” said Scilingo. “Since implementing AMP, our mobile customers are spending more time on the site and buying more products.” – Nicholas Scilingo, director of digital marketing, Campmor