Honey Mittal

Why three seconds is better than 12

Wego.ae, the largest travel marketplace in the Middle East and Asia Pacific reveals astonishing results after implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) combined with Progressive Web App (PWA), becoming the fastest loading mobile travel site in the world.

TT Bureau

According to Google, 40 per cent of consumers will leave a site if a page takes longer than three seconds to load on mobile, with 79 percent unlikely to return. “By rebuilding the static pages using AMP, and the core search experience with PWA, Wego has decreased page load time from around 12 seconds to between .50 and three seconds,” said Honey Mittal, Senior Vice President, Product, Wego.

The astonishing speed easily outranks all other global travel sites with a score of 90, while others hover at a median score of 51. “Over 70 per cent of Wego’s searches take place on mobile and increasing site speed was key to upgrading the user experience, and ultimately increasing engagement and conversions,” continued Mittal. “We saw AMP and PWA as a development priority in our objective to achieve this outcome and committed our resources to producing the fastest loading mobile travel site in the world, and we succeeded.”

Wego implemented AMP on the site’s landing pages which reduced page load time to less than one second when served from the AMP Cache. AMP is a Google project designed as an open standard for publishers to support fast page loads on mobile devices, serving from the AMP cache – a proxy-based content delivery network which delivers all valid AMP documents. AMP uses a stripped down version of HTML and an offthe-shelf Java script library (blocking third party scripts) that allow lazy loading. For the search and shop experience, Wego built a PWA using service workers, reducing page load time to less than three seconds for new users, and less than a second for returning users.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are mobile websites that deliver app-like experiences with full web reach. PWA’s use service workers that are client side proxies produced in Java script to allow you control over the cache. By pre-caching key resources using service workers, Wego’s PWA is able to deliver content fast and reliably over a variety of problematic network conditions with all testing conducted on a slow, 3G network.

The AMP install service worker provided a seamless transition from AMP to PWA, Wego paired PWA with Polymer, a lightweight library that takes full advantage of reusable and interoperable web components. Wego’s PWA now supports silky smooth animations with no janky scrolling and testing was conducted on a slow 3G network.

“Slow mobile page loads are intensely frustrating, especially during the travel shopping journey,” he said. “Wego’s website now opens seamlessly, loading in the same time it takes to open Wego’s popular travel app – in fact, it’s difficult to tell the UX apart.” “While upgrading performance we also redesigned the entire mobile site to mimic the native apps, rebuilding the APIs from scratch to be fully optimised for mobile to deliver a consistent experience across both web and app,” Mittal added. The solution has had an impressive impact on Wego’s business.

“Mobile web has wide reach, especially in Wego’s core markets in the Middle East, Asia and India where slow, unstable networks and less than 512MB storage space on mobile devices is common,” Mittal explained. “For the majority, travel planning and booking is not a daily necessity, which often results in the removal of less frequently used apps to free up space for photos and video. By delivering a lightning fast mobile website experience, Wego has solved an enormous problem for our users who aren’t able to download or retain our app, as well as our travel partners.”

“The loss of potential customers during site loading time has been reduced significantly and we’ve increased value for our partner’s marketing investments,” Mittal concluded. “The revamp has not only improved user experience, we’ve improved each step within the funnel, from visits to searches to conversion – ultimately increasing conversions by 95 per cent.”

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