A few weeks ago, e-commerce giant eBay introduced upto eight million pages which are all AMP (accelerated mobile pages) ready on it’s portal. The repercussions of this on the whole ecommerce industry are expected to be huge and understandably so. For one, the AMPs will ensure that the webpages load in double quick time and more critically the expectation is that this will give a boost to sales on various e-commerce portals. At present, the AMP project is able to create webpages limited to the various categories and products that an e-commerce portal offers but the goal of this project is to make the whole experience of shopping for stuff using your mobile phone a truly memorable one.
The other aspect that one must note is that sooner than later AMPs will hugely impact the way in which SERPs (search engine result pages) work. Though most search engines currently display the AMP pages in the carousel, it is only a matter of times before they start appearing in all search results. Thanks to this feature of AMPs, the day is not too far off when ranking of these portals will get affected. So it is but natural that both search engines and users will then give first preference to those sites which are AMP compliant. Today, more users are buying stuff on the internet using smartphones than ever before and AMP pages are designed to become the standard for all these transactions.
So how do the AMPs actually work? Remember the ‘instant articles’ feature on Facebook? This is somewhat similar and at the heart is a HTML page that is stripped down to the basics so that it loads right away. A bit like the ‘mobile friendly’ tag that one sees alongside search results nowadays. What makes the AMP pages such a great boon for e-commerce portals is that beyond loading stuff fast, a user can toggle between the products on offer in a jiffy thus increasing chances of conversion significantly. Tagged with the symbol of a lightning bolt alongside, AMP enabled links to portals will enjoy higher click-through rates, meaning simply that more people are likely to click on your stuff. So if retailers want first mover advantage, they must get their developers to make pages and use images that are AMP compliant.
The people behind the AMP project expect the whole e-commerce industry to make the transition to this new standard once they see a large chunk of the internet traffic moving towards portals that are AMP enabled. Yes, the AMPs are at a nascent stage still and not everything on an e-commerce portal can be customised right now using them but developments are happening at a brisk pace. The AMP project is completely open source which gives developers all over a free hand to tweak and improve any shortcomings that they encounter while making use of it. The fact that many large online retailers have all joined hands with the AMP project to test many of the advanced features is clear indication that AMPs are the future of e-commerce. And they are here to stay.