AMP Case Study | GiftTree

About GiftTree

Since its founding in 1997, GiftTree has sought to turn ordinary gifting moments into extraordinary ones through their collection of superior-quality, hand-chosen gifts, delivered in memorable packages.

Today, GiftTree operates from its headquarters in Vancouver, Washington. Additional locations in Austin, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina, allow them to offer two-day ground shipping to most locations within the United States.

Basics of Implementation

In the fall of 2018, GiftTree enlisted WompMobile, a development agency and software platform, to help implement AMP on their site. The implementation was completed on November 15, 2018.

The approach implemented AMP pages as alternate versions – also known as paired AMP – for the mobile versions of their pages. This is the basic use case for AMP. The following image depicts the basic structure of this type of implementation:

As the site is an e-commerce site, conversions are defined as sales.

GiftTree uses a custom-built PHP e-commerce platform to handle all online transactions, covering more than 9,000 individual products. The site also utilizes popular third-party software for marketing automation and advertising.

The project focused on the main Google entry points to the site. This included all product and category pages, the home page, and seasonal and promotional pages on the site.  Some pages were not converted, such as the blog pages, as these are not major drivers of organic traffic from Google.

Additionally, some on-site functions were not replicated because the customer impact was minimal, and their complexity would have threatened the short time frame for launch.

As an example, product availability is sometimes impacted by local inventory or local regulation. During the initial phase, this messaging was moved from the PDP to the Cart Modal. In Phase 2, an API Endpoint is being built to mirror the functionality on desktop.

Results

Currently, about 30% of the organic search traffic goes to the AMP pages, but this is steadily growing.  The site saw traffic gains as a result of Google’s March 2019 Core Algorithm Update, and this seemed to benefit the AMP pages more than the non-AMP pages (i.e. it appears that simultaneously with the update, Google also shifted more of the mobile traffic to the AMP pages).

To measure results, GiftTree compared the 30 days before launching AMP to the first 30 days with AMP. The results were as follows:

  • 80% increase in Click-Through Rate (CTR) from the SERPs
  • 21% decrease in bounce rate
  • 20% increase in page views per visitor
  • 6% increase in site conversion rate
  • 2% increase in average time on site

All of Google’s algorithm updates last year hurt the site’s rankings, but the March 2019 update had a significant positive impact. While it’s not possible to attribute cause and effect to the AMP implementation and the rankings, it’s interesting to note that correlation. In addition, the observed 80% increase in the CTR from organic search results provides a directly attributable increase on organic traffic.

Other Observations

GiftTree is very satisfied with the results of the AMP implementation. The investment in the initial AMP implementation amortized quickly, partly because they had it ready for the holiday season. For that reason, they are currently working on a Progressive Web App (PWA) implementation together with WompMobile. That version of their site will still use AMP pages as the initial landing pages, and upon the next click they will transition to the PWA, which will re-use AMP pages as the data source. Here’s an illustration of what this will look like:

Due to the functionality of service workers, which includes preloading content prior to a user requesting it, significant additional speed gains can be expected.