Discovering Accelerated Mobile Pages for eCommerce

by Zamro (Tim Noordhoek CTO)

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) have become quite a big thing in the past year. Countless news website have adopted AMP and enrich Google Search results.

AMP results in the Search Results

Instant pages

As many say, AMP is a method to make websites load fast, by ridding it from its most inefficient parts. The pages are ultra lightweight and static, therefore there are limitations in HTML markup, in CSS use and you can only use a predefined set of JavaScript elements. Subsequently, the reconnect API preloads the content that will be visible in the viewport (Above the fold) even before clicking the item. All is optimised to avoid anything to block rendering; resulting in instantly opening webpages.

Enriching Search Results

When you make a search on your mobile device, some results will be indicated with ⚡ AMP. These, obviously, are AMP pages.
If you look closely when you tap one of these results, set aside from opening really fast, you will see that you are still on the search results page. The AMP page is served from the Google domain in an iframe. Google takes your page and caches it on their servers. This way it serves as an extension – as an enrichment of the Search results and as a new entry point to your website.

When you click on a link inside the page, or if you navigate you will leave the AMP environment and you will find yourself back on the good old regular mobile website.

AMP for eCommerce

an AMP page from eBay

For now, like we mentioned earlier, AMP is mostly used by News websites. That makes sense. News and Blogs are very consumable content, it requires little interaction and it is passed around quickly on the web.

But how about eCommerce? AMP doesn’t seem to be widely adopted by eCommerce websites yet. So far, We’ve discovered that eBay is doing some experimenting with AMP pages, but only internal category pages. No interactive parts, no form actions, just links to products.

The AMP project comes with some good examples that seem quite complete.  Imagine the possibilities, adding products to your cart straight from an AMP page in the Google SERP. Then checking out and paying directly from there. See also the AMP public roadmap.

AMP for the Zamro webshop

In upcoming articles we will be explaining how we implement AMP pages for our Zamro webshop. The challenge will be to get the layer of interactivity that is required in a webshop, selecting quantity, variants, filtering, add to cart into AMP pages.
Furthermore: how do we implement analytics? There seem to be solutions for that, but will they suffice? And how will caching respond to for example pricing updates? And how will it affect SEO rankings?

Bit by bit we will be implementing AMP pages, starting with product pages and category pages in a very basic way. We will measure the effects and learn from our efforts and the problems we will stumble upon.

Some resources:

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