Wilton’s mobile site boosts page views 40%

Cake decorating company Wilton saw a more than 40% increase in page views from mobile devices in the week after launching its mobile-optimized site in April. While Eric Erwin, EVP of marketing and product development at Wilton, admits that the 80-year-old company was tardy in providing a mobile-optimized site, he’s nonetheless happy with the results thus far. In addition to the jump in page views, the mobile site, developed with Wilton’s digital agency Shay Digital, has also experienced a 45% decrease in homepage bounce rate and a 25% increase in product views per visit. But those results may have been mitigated had the company not kept its customers top-of-mind during the site’s development.

Before Wilton began brainstorming its mobile site last year, it looked at its traffic numbers and to its customers. Nearly 10% of Wilton.com’s traffic came from mobile devices, and a survey of the company’s Facebook community found that 55% of its customers use smartphones with “7 out of 8 of them actually having used their smartphone while shopping,” says Erwin. “So that became a very clear call to action that said it’s time to develop a fully integrated mobile strategy, one that takes smartphones as well as tablets into consideration.”

According to comScore, four out of every five mobile devices purchased in 2010 were smartphones, and 2010’s fourth quarter saw global shipments of smartphones outnumber PCs for the first time.

“Everybody’s going mobile,” says Vikrant Gandhi, senior analyst at research firm Frost & Sullivan. “If it’s a consumer-focused [company], you should have a mobile site.”

Gandhi says mobile-optimized sites enable marketers to target consumers who are more likely to interact with a brand, which he says explains the early success of Wilton’s mobile site. “You’re constrained by the physics of the device, so you don’t just browse around randomly. You go to very specific sites that you want to go to,” he says.

Wilton created a streamlined experience, such as a homepage sized so as to not require scrolling, optimized for a target consumer seeking an efficient, easily navigable interface for on-the-go access.

“We had some insights that led us to believe that [consumers visiting the site on their mobile devices] actually are looking for the same content but in a different format when they’re accessing our website through a mobile device,” says Erwin. “So being able to give them that specific content—which is basically recipes that have lists, the products associated with those recipes, ratings and reviews—those things had to be the first things that we considered.”

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