Mobile Site Case Study: Regional Retail Chain Site – Dated Site and Poor Mobile User Experience
A large regional retail organization with 75 – 100 locations had a website that was out of date, difficult to maintain and had a design that limited the type of content that could be shared. Even worse the site made it almost impossible to get their individual locations ranked on local search results in the search engines. Additionally the third party store locator imposed limitations on how their customers could find their stores. Worst of all they were forced to use a third party service to provide a mobile site that was, to say the least, not good. Users struggled to find what they were looking for, franchisees wanted to get more out of the site, corporate staff wanted a better user experience, improved branding and search and social media wins.
We came up with a strategy that would satisfy all the stake holders’ needs and desires. It would provide each location with a linked, stand-alone website, plus individual pages on the corporate site to improve local search results. We worked with the retail company’s preferred traditional designer to incorporate their new brand elements. Created a custom location finder that includes map, text based search and allows the addition of tags to make finding a nearby store easier. Best of all for this company that gets more than half of their site traffic from mobile users we created an integrated mobile site that scores great with Google’s recent Mobile changes. All for a budget that was literally half of what other Minneapolis web development shops quoted just for doing the main site, with no local sites or location finder.
The results of the plan have been great. Users and Franchisees have had great things to say about the new design, layout and inclusion of improved images and video. The Store Locator has also been popular with the users and franchisees, which makes the corporate staff happy. The local sites have resulted in dramatic improvements in local ranking with little to no additional SEO efforts and the mobile site has made a huge difference since now changes and updates can be made instantly rather than the 1 – 2 week lead time they had on their previous mobile solution.
The real proof is in the pudding: The bounce rate on the corporate site decreased by nearly 60%, corporate site traffic is up 21% and with the inclusion of the numbers from all the local sites total traffic is up over 66%, pages per session is up over 30%. The improvements to their Mobile traffic are even greater: mobile traffic is up 60% while new users are up over 40%, The Mobile bounce rate is down over 65%.