Optimized checkout helps boost a college bookstore’s mobile sales by 184%

By Amy Dusto

Internet Retailer, June 5, 2014 

Mobile sales have been growing for the University of Oregon’s Duck Store, thanks to a new mobile-optimized checkout and e-mail marketing campaigns.

Lead Photo


In six weeks last year, the University of Oregon’s nonprofit, mascot-themed bookstore The Duck Store increased by 184% the amount of sales per day from smartphones and tablets, according to web team leader Alex Lyons. And over several months, mobile traffic has grown from 18% of all web traffic to 32%, she says, while the store’s average monthly mobile revenue grew from 1-5% of total sales to 7-9%.

The Duck Store made two significant changes to its mobile strategy that led to the increases in mobile traffic and revenue, Lyons explains. First, it added a new mobile-optimized checkout last year from its e-commerce and m-commerce platform provider Volusion Inc., which led to the massive bump in mobile sales in the following six weeks. Although the product and category pages had been optimized for tiny screens since 2011, it wasn’t until 2013 that the retailer revised the checkout page to be easy to use on mobile phones, Lyons says.

“Before the launch of the mobile checkout, smartphone and tablet customers would be redirected off the mobile interface to the desktop site shopping cart,” she says. “The checkout process on a mobile device was difficult to use and navigate.”

Second, The Duck Store began using responsive links in its marketing e-mails, using a program from marketing technology and services provider Listrak. With responsive links, when a consumer opens an e-mail on a smartphone or tablet, the links inside the message go directly to mobile-optimized product and category pages; when she opens the message on a desktop, they go to pages on the standard desktop site. Previously, the retailer was able to direct mobile shoppers only to the mobile home page, Lyons says. That would then require the mobile consumer to search for what was being promoted in the marketing e-mail.

“While we tried to make finding the product as easy as possible by placing the corresponding category at the top of the mobile navigation, it still required additional click-throughs to get to the product details page to add the product to the cart,” she says. “By linking our e-mail campaigns directly to the product detail pages for quick add-to-cart functionality, combined with the new Volusion mobile checkout page, mobile customers are able to complete their transactions quickly and conveniently.”

The Duck Store’s focus on mobile continues to pay off in ever-increasing traffic and sales from mobile shoppers. Since March, smartphones have been accounting for 7-10% of total sales and tablets 8-9%, Lyons says. Also since March, Android devices have accounted for 2-4% of total sales, while Apple devices have accounted for 13-14%, she says.

Smartphones also are prominent in terms of the retailer’s total site traffic. Over the past few months, 30-35% of total traffic has come from smartphones and 11-15% from tablets, Lyons says.


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