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This past summer, Exxel Outdoors, the parent company to multiple outdoor brands including Kelty and Sierra Designs, overhauled all seven of their websites simultaneously.

Changing one website is a large task, but seven is a massive initiative, but Exxel saw a trend that they wanted to get in front of as soon as possible.

This major driver and trend was the fact that 40% of their traffic was coming from mobile, but their conversion rates were low. Hardly anyone on smaller devices was checking out.

Trend lines show more than 50% of traffic to websites today are from mobile devices, but 75% of sales are attributed to desktop.

That number is actually just short of industry average. Trend lines show more than 50% of traffic to websites today are from mobile devices, but 75% of sales are attributed to desktop.

This is both a UX and CRO issue, or as both we and Exxel view this, a UX and CRO opportunity.

Exxel’s overhaul focused on the mobile experience and they saw huge wins immediately, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

The Mobile Opportunity

Driving new traffic is difficult and expensive, but Exxel Outdoors saw a huge mobile optimization opportunity to both create happier customers and make more money from their existing traffic – resulting in a 147% increase in mobile conversions.

The State of Mobile

In 2014, we passed the mobile tipping point.


Millennials and Generation Z use their phones more than any other device to browse and shop online. Mobile digital media time in the U.S. is now significantly higher at 51% compared to desktop at 42%. Afterall, popular social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat don’t even offer a desktop experience.

In 2017, with Google’s mobile index update, mobile will become the de facto indexing source for your website.

With Google’s mobile index update, mobile will become the de facto indexing source for your website. Learn more about Mobile SEO in 2017.

While mobile usage is increasing, surpassing all other devices, mobile spend and sales in retail is lagging behind.

Of the top reasons why consumers do not convert on mobile according to a ComScore study, all but one are issues of user experience and mobile-friendly website design from landing page to checkout.


Increase Your Revenue with Mobile-Friendly Design


Percent increase in mobile conversions for Exxel Outdoor brands since the mobile-first relaunch of the company’s seven websites.

Today, Exxel Outdoors has seen a 147% increase in mobile conversions since re-launch.

In addition to an increase in mobile conversions and revenue, they reduced their bounce rates, decreased page load time and reduced hosting costs.

The team credits their growth success to many factors –– a mobile-optimized website, product videos on all product pages, turning product pages into responsive landing pages and streamlined checkout –– all of them targeting a mobile customer’s desired experience and intent.

Their goal was to be mobile-first, not just mobile-friendly.


Kelty is one of Exxel Outdoors’ most successful brands. 

Of course, Exxel Outdoors’ brands aren’t the only ones benefitting immensely from a mobile-first focus.

Online stores like AwesomeGTI, StoreYourBoard and The Knobs Co have seen similar results from their mobile audiences. Each of these brands have focused on turning product pages into landing pages. They use video, honest customer reviews, product photos, social media streams and clear Add to Cart buttons to do this.

Their success on mobile is thanks to going beyond mobile-friendly.

This is a drastic change.

It’s time brands leave left-over desktop functionality that doesn’t make sense on a mobile device behind. It’s time to design online experiences for mobile before all else.

Introducing the First Theme Built for Mobile First


See Touch in Action

Test out all four Touch theme variants to see the new mobile-first theme in action right now.

BigCommerce is here to help.

Not every online store has the budget to hire developers and designers. And, even those that do often don’t have the time to A/B test concepts, or lay out all needs before hiring an agency or launching a new site.

That’s why we’ve partnered with celebrity designer LaQuan Smith and design agency Pixel Union to launch the only fully customizable, mobile-first theme offered by an ecommerce platform.

Meet Touch: an innovative combination of technical need and innovative UX.

Touch is already being used by the LaQuan Smith brand, which has been optimizing for mobile first since early 2016. Among their mobile first experience updates are intuitive swipe left-right functionality, Apple Pay for quick checkout and high-quality images for familiar mobile app-like scanning and swiping.

“The Touch mobile-first design speaks so perfectly to my core customers, a large portion of whom are already making purchases on a mobile device. Touch just kicks the experience up a few notches by adding elements that improve that existing experience,” says Smith. “For starters the navigation, which relies on intuitive finger swipes to move between pieces of clothing, functions in much the same way that you would already use your phone.

The Touch mobile-first design speaks so perfectly to my core customers, a large portion of whom are already making purchases on a mobile device.

“In my opinion, the coolest element of this theme is the seamless checkout experience, which completely eliminates the frustrations we’ve all experienced when trying to check out on a mobile device,” says Smith. “Through Touch, customers can pay with a single touch using Apple Pay.”

Browse All BigCommerce Mobile Themes

BigCommerce also offers 87 responsive storefront designs that integrate with Apple Pay and PayPal One Touch to help increase your mobile conversions.

Apple Pay v. Chrome Mobile Checkout

It is one thing to use a mobile-first site design and UX, but another to enable quick, convenient and trust-worthy checkout on mobile. Yet, as LaQuan mentioned, mobile checkout improvements like Apple Pay and PayPal One Touch are quickly decreasing mobile abandoned cart rates. Apps using Apple Pay since September of 2016 have already increased conversion rates 2x.


To understand exactly how mobile wallets and one-touch checkouts are doing this, just take a look at the time to checkout difference on between Apple Pay and a regular mobile checkout flow.

Apple Pay checkout flow in Safari
Mobile checkout flow in Chrome

The amount of time spent is vastly different. Apple Pay and similar solutions are leading the path to mobile checkout optimization, making it even more important for brands to create a mobile-first design that leads users to the optimized checkout.

After all, in 2017, retail will serve mobile audiences before all else. The time is now to make sure your site is ready. Updating to a mobile-first theme is a great step – especially if you are a retailer with higher volumes of traffic coming from mobile than desktop.

For brands which have yet to see mobile traffic surpass desktop, know that the time will come. Before then, be sure you are using a responsive theme and signaling to search engines like Google that your product pages are engaging (i.e. great product photography and video) and kept up to date with fresh content (i.e. customer reviews).

Mobile is no longer a choice. It is the new reality. And with it comes massive mobile revenue opportunities from your existing and future traffic.

Stay tuned in 2017 for additional updates and more data on mobile conversions and the future of online shopping.

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