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Sports Unlimited increases conversion rate 42pc with new mobile site

July 18, 2013

Gearing up on mobile

Sporting goods retailer Sports Unlimited has seen an uptick in conversions since the company relaunched a mobile site June 4.

The company partnered with Unbound Commerce to create the new mobile site, which enhanced user experience with Unbound’s new responsive checkout solution. The site now allows customers to complete purchases using payment types such as PayPal.

“When we started we had very little mobile traffic and really put little effort towards it,” said Michael Neff, director of ecommerce at Sports Unlimited, Harleysville, PA.

“Unbound Commerce was able to take our product feed and create a usable mobile site, but it didn’t have a lot of the information that our main site had, so the idea with our redesign of the site and implementing their responsive checkout was to give our customers a much better user experience and to provide them with pretty much all the information that we were offering on our main site,” he said.

“We were hoping for a 10 to 15 percent increase. I’ve been doing this for 11 years now, and I’ve never seen a change that’s increased conversion like this, so we’re really excited.”

Mobile face-lift
The purpose behind the mobile Web revamp was to redesign the layout of the site and add new features.

Sports Unlimited redesigned the site’s header, homepage, category pages, product detail pages, search and checkout.

For example, on the desktop site, users could view 30 pictures of certain products to see different colors and types, which is now offered on the mobile site. The mobile site also now includes product reviews and sizing charts as well.

The Sports Unlimited mobile homepage

Additionally, the company added MyBuys recommendations, special promotions and social share buttons.

The largest change, however, was to the checkout page. Unbound’s responsive checkout solution made the checkout process easier, decreasing it from five steps to three steps and allowing customers to use PayPal to checkout.

In addition to the 42 percent increase in conversion rates, mobile commerce revenue increased 36 percent and mobile site traffic was up six percent 38 days after rolling out the site.

A screenshot of the site’s mobile shopping cart

Increasing mcommerce
Other sports retailers are also trying to optimize mcommerce for their companies.

For example, flash sale retailer Wide Open Spaces recently launched a mobile site that is integrated with its ecommerce back-end platform (see story).

Hibbit Sporting Goods also created a mobile optimized site to complement its in-store experience (see story).

According to Wilson Kerr, Boston-based vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Sports Unlimited was wise to expand its mobile initiatives.

“Mobile is important for any retailer, but especially important for retailers who cater to consumers who are out and actually using the products they sell in a social setting,” he said. “On a sports team, athletes can see what their teammates are wearing and mobile allows for the ability to convert a sale right there and then.”

Mr. Kerr also believes that it is important to cater mobile sites specifically to different devices, as opposed to using responsive design.

“We are not a proponent of using responsive design for the entire build, as this means you have only one site that is simply reformatted for a variety of devices,” he said. “While this one-site-for-all approach might sound appealing, there are serious performance issues to consider and distinct behavioral buying decision-making processes for each channel that must be taken into account.

“Our new responsive design checkout means all the bells and whistles from their ecommerce checkout process can instantly be a part of the mobile checkout flow, while the mobile site remains built from whole cloth, specifically for the mobile consumer.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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