Lilly Pulitzer, the resort wear brand whose Q3 sales grew 13% to $59.2 million from a year earlier, launched a progressive web app (PWA) that lets smartphone users shop from its website without having to download a specialized mobile application. Mobile traffic jumped 80% and revenue gained 33% during the website's first week from a year earlier, per news provided to Mobile Marketer.
Lilly Pulitzer sought to create a seamless e-commerce experience for its growing base of mobile customers, which currently account for nearly 60% of total traffic, according to Mobify, a provider of PWAs for e-commerce companies and brands such as Lancôme, Crabtree & Evelyn, Carnival Cruise Line, Burlington and Superdry.
Kim Williams-Czopek, vice president of digital commerce at Lilly Pulitzer, said the PWA gave the company a chance to improve the mobile customer experience and yield a quick return on investment while it transitions to another e-commerce platform provider.
Lilly Pulitzer is among the brands that have seen positive results from PWA technology that helps mobile websites load faster by removing unnecessary parts of a webpage that are only required on desktop screens. In addition to saving consumers the extra steps of having to download an app that uses up more data storage on a mobile device, PWAs promise the ability to improve page speeds by 2x to 4x, according to Mobify's website. Its research indicates that for every 100-millisecond decrease in homepage load speed, customers see a 1.11% lift in session-based conversion.
PWAs, an open-source initiative driven by Google, are steadily growing in popularity as brands cope with the frustrations of developing standalone apps that struggle to make money, are often difficult to find on app stores and require expensive maintenance. Many businesses are wasting money investing in native apps, according to a report in App Developer Magazine.
Developing a native app typically takes eight months and costs $270,000, the magazine said, and can demand heavy expenses for updates and adjustments for different platforms, such as iOS and Android. Meanwhile, smartphone users are spending more time with a smaller group of apps. U.S. users are expected to whittle down the average number of apps they use to 20.1 by 2019 from 21 last year, according to eMarketer.
As e-commerce, much of it transacted through mobile phones, becomes an increasingly essential part of retailer's strategies, PWAs might make for an appealing alternative and are driving bottom-line results for brands like Lilly Pulitzer.