Weekly Focus Europe: Magento Announces Availability of PWA Studio; Subway & Mobivity Announce License Expansion

In this edition of Weekly Focus Europe: Magento Announces Availability of PWA Studio to Help Merchants Optimise Multichannel Retail Strategies; and Subway & Mobivity Announce License Expansion Bringing Mobivity’s Recurrency to International Markets: Canada, Ireland, UK.

Magento Announces Availability of PWA Studio to Help Merchants Optimise Multichannel Retail Strategies

There’s no question that mobile is the most transformative force in retail today, a trend that was on full display throughout the 2018 holiday shopping season. According to the Adobe Analytics Holiday report, mobile traffic soared with more than half (51.4%) of traffic originating from smartphones alone, yet mobile accounted for just 31% of revenue. This is a stark reminder that many retailers have yet to crack the code on improving mobile conversion rates and the complexity of building and optimising experiences across channels.

Adobe announced Tuesday (15 January) the general release of Progressive Web Applications (PWA), a suite of tools for building online stores with app-like experiences that help merchants solve the mobile conversion dilemma and delivery of highly personalised cross-channel experiences, and new innovations across Adobe Experience Cloud that help retailers excel in CXM across physical and digital storefronts.

PWAs represent a seismic advancement in the evolution of the mobile web, similar in magnitude to the transition that happened five years ago from conventional desktop sites to responsive web design. PWAs blur the lines between mobile app and mobile site by equipping merchants and developers with a new frontend architecture that allows them to leverage open web APIs to build ‘app-like’ experiences directly in the browser that are fast, engaging, boost online conversions, and enhance the pervasiveness of the in-store experience.

PWAs solve multiple challenges for retailers

When executed properly, native apps can provide an experience that is so frictionless that they provide a much better shopping experience than desktop (think Apple or Amazon). The problem is, mobile apps are expensive to build and maintain and consumers only use apps from brands with which they regularly interact. According to Forrester, most brands cannot expect to convince even 10% of customers to download their app – meaning their mobile website handles the vast majority of customer interactions.

This is where PWAs shine: they deliver fast and slick ‘app-like’ experiences in the mobile web browser, allowing retailers to tackle multiple challenges at once:

  • Faster browsing PWAs are much faster to interact with, as well as provide smoother scrolling and transitioning of pages as the experience progressively changes, thus removing the need for pages to reload. Early adopters, such as AliExpress, have seen 100% jump in conversion rates since making the switch and Google even provide a testing tool (Lighthouse) so you can benchmark your PWA’s performance.
  • Instant ‘app’ gratification PWAs are instantly discoverable and usable via the browser, thus eliminating the need to download or install an app before use.
  • Push notifications An exciting proposition for online marketers is that PWAs support push notifications (on Android devices) in the browser, extending the opportunity for marketers to send real-time, contextual, and personalised communications with a simple one-click opt-in directly from the PWA site.
  • Rapid re-engagement Just like a native app, a PWA can be saved to the home screen (on Android devices), allowing for rapid repeat access without the need to open the browser and type in a URL. Furthermore, PWAs operate in full-screen mode, hiding the browser URL bar on the top and the browser navigation tools on the bottom of the screen for a native ‘app-like’ look and feel.

While general awareness of PWAs is on the rise, their impact extends far beyond mobile. PWAs enable functionality such as push notifications and location to be built into the architecture of the website, levelling the playing field for all brands to deliver highly personalised cross-channel experiences at precisely the right time, all at a fraction the cost of a mobile app.

Retailers, for example, can build contextual in-store capabilities into their PWA such as native integration with the device camera to scan shelf barcodes and integrated payments with Google and Apple Pay for in-store purchases. The benefit of PWAs in-store is that they are instantly accessible via the browser, fast, and reliable, meaning retailers don’t have to connect consumers to their in-store WiFi to deliver a great mobile experience with their brand.

They also have the potential to open-up a whole new world for store associates. Shoppers expect sales associates to be knowledgeable about online products, which can be a logistical challenge. Looking forward, PWAs have the potential to replace legacy POS systems and retail associate platforms providing a fast, efficient, and cost-effective way for store associates to locate product online and in-store, provide self-checkout, service returns, save the sale, and more, directly from an employee’s smartphone.

From boosted customer and in-store engagement and higher conversions to lowered development costs, PWAs offer unprecedented opportunities for merchants.

Subway and Mobivity Announce License Expansion Bringing Mobivity’s Recurrency to International Markets: Canada, Ireland, UK

Mobivity Holdings Corp., creators of the award-winning Recurrency platform that increases customer visits and spend in restaurant, retail, and personal care brands, announced on Tuesday (15 January) an international license expansion with Subway, bringing Mobivity’s targeted print advertising, data aggregation, and insight engine to restaurants in Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The expansion follows the success of the programme in the U.S., which has returned in excess of 10x return on investment for the brand.

Mobivity CEO, Dennis Becker, comments: “In launching this expansion, we are seeing the largest international deployment of our Recurrency platform to date, and we couldn’t be more excited to expose the unique insights that our partners at Subway have seen domestically with an even broader consumer pool. This is a testament not only to the success Subway has seen through this relationship to date, but also to the growing value in using one-to-one customer data to create more intelligent and informed campaigns both domestically and abroad.”

With this new expansion, Subway’s intelligent and personalised marketing campaigns gain a global footprint, deploying in roughly 3,000 Canadian restaurants and 2,500 restaurants throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. These restaurants will utilise Mobivity’s Receipt technology to provide targeted messaging campaigns directly on guests’ printed receipts, while gathering basket-level point-of-sale data to reveal unique trends and insights through Mobivity’s Recognition reporting platform.

Carissa Ganelli, chief digital officer, Subway, adds: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to expand on the data that we use to inform our marketing campaigns. Over the last few years, our U.S. guests have loved receiving personalised offers based on what they purchased, with each redemption enabling us to give our guests more of what they want. We are excited to expand this to an international market, and to continue delivering the delicious experiences that our guests expect.”

With this expansion, Mobivity is leveraging machine learning within the Recurrency platform to better target and personalise marketing campaigns to Subway guests in over 30,000 restaurants worldwide.