December 13, 2013, 9:24 AM

Top mobile retailers reap rewards using the magical HTML5

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HTML5 has become popular not only among retailers but also among the mobile commerce technology providers that serve retailers. Mobify and Usablenet Inc. are two vendors that make extensive use of HTML5 in the mobile commerce sites they build. Northern Tool + Equipment Co., No. 303 in the Mobile 500, selected Usablenet to create an HTML5-based mobile site in April 2013.

“One reason Northern Tool selected Usablenet as its mobile technology provider was because of our use of HTML5 exclusively, which enables us to provide a much faster site experience and the broadest mobile web browser compatibility for shoppers,” says Roland Campbell, Usablenet’s director of solutions engineering. Northern Tool deferred comment on HTML5 to Usablenet. “One example of HTML5’s capabilities is how it enables retailers to let customers create lists that are stored locally on mobile devices, lists of products like a ‘Love List’ or a ‘Shopping List.’ By using the HTML5 database function to store lists locally, shoppers can have personal lists on their phones to come back to when they want.”

Gilt Groupe, No. 10 in the Mobile 500, started using HTML5 in 2012 to speed mobile page loads, aiming to speed customers’ ability to quickly browse through Gilt’s daily sales, says Yonatan Feldman, vice president of mobile.

In addition to using HTML5’s local storage feature to speed mobile page loads, Gilt uses what developers call “client-side templating techniques,” an HTML5 page construction approach that reduces the amount of data transferred from the retailer’s servers to the customer’s mobile browser, which results in improved and faster mobile shopping, Feldman says.

“Our members are on the go, so we’re always looking for ways to improve the mobile experience so they can shop with simplicity and speed,” Feldman says. “With HTML5, we’ve seen increased engagement and higher conversion rates by creating a shopping experience that’s faster than ever.”

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