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Mobile Site Acceleration Boosts Conversions 23% At American Giant

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Everyone talks about business agility, but American Giant has actually put it into practice — with impressive results. When the online apparel retailer shaved an average of five seconds off of its mobile site’s speed, conversions increased 23%.

“Anything you can do to improve site speed will bring benefits,” said Jennifer Patchen, Director of Site Operations for the San Francisco-based retailer. Reducing the desktop e-Commerce site’s speed by just a single second boosted conversions there as well, by a smaller (though still measurable) percentage.

American Giant, in business for only four years, offers the “world’s best hoodie” as well as a range of men’s and women’s apparel. Its products are all manufactured in the U.S., and the company is focused on investing both in creating high-quality products and nurturing direct relationships with its customers.

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Faster, More Scalable Sites

Patchen credits a number of technical improvements that led to the site speed improvements, including asynchronous loading and a move to a rich text format. A major contributor was American Giant’s move to the Demandware e-Commerce platform in July 2015.

American Giant had sought an e-Commerce infrastructure “that would be scalable, grow as fast as we’re growing, and provide a strong backbone to build out the site,” said Patchen in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. She also liked Demandware’s efficiency and rapid speed to market, particularly since she runs a small IT shop.

“We’re a lean company, with approximately 25 employees total; my team has four people,” said Patchen. For that reason, “I found the Demandware customer community very helpful, because we get background based on what they are seeing from other clients, and we can determine how we’re stacking up against our peers.”

In addition to reducing site speed, American Giant uses the provider’s cartridges, which allow the retailer to more easily integrate functionalities such as one-click checkout and PayPal Express into its user experience. “The cartridges allow us to integrate these things directly into the code base,” said Patchen.

Overall, improving the mobile experience remains a top priority for American Giant. “We’re increasingly seeing mobile as a bigger part of our traffic,” said Patchen, “So our goal is to continue to optimize our site for mobile.”

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