April 12, 2012, 10:17 AM

What do you get by adding HTML5 to your mobile site?

Increased usage and page views and decreased bounces, a new study shows.

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HTML5 is the latest version of the ubiquitous web programming language, and it’s especially important in mobile commerce as it enables retailers creating m-commerce sites to make greater use of smartphone features and functions and thus make a utilitarian m-commerce site function more like a rich mobile app. And it seems, one new study finds, that HTML5 in m-commerce offers a big payoff.

28% of 50 retail and travel m-commerce sites using mobile technology provider Usablenet Inc.’s HTML5-based Usablenet Mobile 2.0 system experienced an increase in overall usage, along with an 11% jump in page views per visit and a 15% drop in bounce rate, the rate at which consumers land on their first page then immediately leave a site compared with those who visit more than one page.

“As customers increasingly turn to their smartphones and tablets to browse, shop and buy, it’s now more important than ever for brands to offer an engaging and easy-to-use mobile experience,” says Usablenet CEO Nick Taylor. “It is evident that upgrading your mobile site with HTML5 leads to greater customer engagement and more time spent on your site.”

The vendor introduced its HTML5-enhanced platform in April 2011. One of its early adopters was TV, web and mobile retailer ShopNBC.com, No. 64 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300.

“ShopNBC has been very pleased with how customers have responded to our mobile site since the HTML5 upgrade,” says Tom Kraus, vice president of commerce and content at ShopNBC.com. “We have seen substantial growth in our mobile site’s overall traffic as well as an increase in the number of page views per visit. In addition, our customers have been quick to adopt live streaming of our broadcast channel as yet another way for them to engage with ShopNBC whenever and wherever they choose.”

HTML5 enables live video streaming on smartphones. Other HTML5 features on Usablenet’s mobile platform include expand-and-collapse menus, high-resolution image galleries, location-aware features and scrolling promotions.

Usablenet claims 20% of the Fortune 1000 as clients. Clients include Amtrak, Delta, Expedia, FedEx, Hilton, Marks & Spencer, Sprint, J.C. Penney and Victoria’s Secret.

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