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e-commerce Responsive upgrade case study

21 May 2015

Earlier this year, The Car Kit Company ( approached the team to transform their non-mobile friendly e-commerce store to a responsive website design for mobile users.

Project Goals

The project was aimed at achieving 2 core goals:

1. Ensure site passed mobile friendly test and obtained ‘mobile friendly’ label in search results to prepare for the Google mobile friendly update and mitigate any risk of lost mobile rankings
2. To provide a better user experience for mobile users

Project Details

Commencement date: April 5th

Completion date: April 9th

Mobile friendy label recieved: April 9th


CMS: Magento

Project Results

Converting any website to responsive has it’s challenges; but with an e-commerce website you encounter a whole new set of variables that aren’t normally taken into consideration:

  • How many products are displayed at a time on a mobile device
  • How small do the add to cart and buy now buttons become
  • How will the cart & check out pages respond, will they be the same or smaller

All of these and more are just a few small items that we actively take into consideration when upgrading any website to responsive.

Here are the finished results below:




Mobile friendly test passed:

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 5.22.44 pm

After the final responsive touches were made and the changes were published, we used the Google fetch tool to force crawl the site in an effort to accelerate the “mobile friendly” adoption process. This proved successful, as the most important pages of the site such as the homepage and category pages only took until later that night to start to display mobile friendly labels in the search results.


In light of the Google mobile friendly algorithm update, the team had taken rankings of some key terms before the update had rolled out and noted the positions in both desktop and mobile. We also took the same rankings again for sake of comparison after the mobile update had rolled out:



Key Observations:

  • Before the mobile update, and before Google had picked up on the site being “mobile friendly”, there was more variation in desktop/mobile results than there was post update
  • After the mobile update and the site was tagged as “mobile friendly”, the most notable mover was “handsfree car kit”, which jumped 2 spots ahead of it’s desktop ranking
  • Overall results suggest that TCKC held/marginally improved their mobile rankings over the period and ranking jumps were mostly due to non mobile friendly competitors losing ground



Although our monitored key terms didn’t show any major signs of improvement, organic traffic from mobile devices substantially improved from the day Google labelled the site as “mobile responsive” in search results.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 3.57.15 pm

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 4.05.10 pm

Key Observations:

A couple of days after Google labelled the site as ‘mobile friendly’ there was a clear jump in mobile only organic traffic to the website even before the mobile friendly update had rolled out, which may of been due to:

  • Other mobile specific factors in the algorithm being satisfied leading to an increase in rankings across mobile devices
  • Google recognising a sudden and major improvement in user metrics from mobile users, signalling a better user experience overall and consequently an appropriate adjustment in rankings
  • Users noticing that pages were now labelled as “mobile friendly” leading to higher click through rates


User Engagement

The key things we were looking to improve here were bounce rate, average pages per session and average session duration on mobile devices.


Key Observations:

It is clear to see that mobile users were engaging a lot better with the responsive site with all user engagement metrics improving generously. Online sales were largely unchanged between both periods however this was not surprising given the fact the business generates most of it’s business through phone calls and online enquiries. In the absence of proper tracking measures installed the team was not able to accurately measure an increase in phone calls or online enquiries as a result of the responsive work however it was noted that mobile specific visits to the contact page saw a substantial increase (see below).

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 11.44.02 am


Wrapping up

Overall, we were more than happy with the results of this project, being able to comfortably hit our 2 main project goals. The team was also pleasantly surprised by the increase in organic traffic as a result of the conversion which largely exceeded expectations, especially given the fact the April 21st update had not yet rolled out.

Although we weren’t able to measure any increases in phone calls and enquiries for the site, we are confident the project had a positive outcome on generating new business just by gauging the increase in mobile users making their to the enquiry/contact us page.



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