Case Study – increase conversions by 450% with a responsive site

Summary

This case study looks at the how to increase conversions which can be obtained by optimising a website so that it tailors the content and layout to fit the device on which it is being viewed.

Before – the baseline

The client’s website had been put in place before responsive design came about – it therefore implemented two different themes. The first theme targeted desktops and notepads, and was also served up to tablet computers by default. The second theme was served up to those visitors who were using mobile phones – it was a pre-purchased ready-made iPhone theme with very little in the way of customisation beyond the colour scheme and the logo.

Before – the problem

There were a number of problems inherent in how things were being done. The mobile theme, although off-the-shelf and specifically in place to target mobile phones, wasn’t converting visitors into customers. The main theme, being designed for laptops and desktops, didn’t lend itself to being rendered on tablets – not only were there issues over a large amount of content being rendered in a small area, but it used effects (such as a hover effect to reveal menus) which couldn’t be activated on tablets.

After – the results

In the period from the start of the year up until the day before the responsive design was rolled out, the site had a relatively healthy (for Magento) overall conversion rate, but was lagging behind somewhat on tablets, and more noticeably so on mobile phones.

On the very first day of the new responsive theme being put in place – after a quiet rollout which didn’t have any marketing or any fanfare announcing the change – the conversion rate for mobile phones increased by an astonishing 450.19%. That’s right – it more than quadrupled. On tablets it increased by 61%, and on desktops, where there wasn’t a massive difference in structure, there was still a healthy 15.59% increase in the conversion rate.
Results - immediate

Immediate increases in conversion rates (click to zoom)

Allowing more time shows that the increase in the conversion rate remained significant – comparing the period of the time from the start of the year to the date of the responsive rollout to the period of time since the responsive rollout (pictured right) shows a 197% increase in conversions on mobiles, a 92.49% increase in the conversion rate on tablets, and a 61.01% increase in conversions on desktops – an overall increase in conversions of 76.47%. No matter which way you look at the numbers, the results speak for themselves.
Results - ytd before and after

Longer-term increases in conversion rates (click to zoom)

Timeline of conversion rates before and after responsive site implementation

Conversion rates – before and after (click to zoom)

After – the ROI

At the end of the day, of course, everything comes down to the bottom line. You can have the world’s best site, but if it doesn’t convert visitors into customers, it doesn’t matter.

In this instance, our clients didn’t have to wait very long long. The cost investment in the responsive theme was returned to them, in terms of proceeds from the increased conversions directly attributable to the site optimisation, in under three weeks. That’s right – it took less than a month for the increased sales to cover the cost of converting the site to a responsive design. We didn’t promise them that level of success – whilst we knew that we could give them a good return on investment, we didn’t want to make guarantees that we couldn’t deliver – but we were more than happy to be able to tell them that the investment had paid off in under one month.

If you’re interested in finding out if we can work the same magic for you, we’d love to hear from you, so feel free to get in touch.

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