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MakeMyTrip.com’s new PWA delivers 3X improvement in conversion rates

MakeMyTrip is India's leading travel company, with nearly eight million visitors to their site every month. Mobile has emerged as the preferred booking medium for MakeMyTrip customers, accounting for over two-thirds of the site’s traffic. After launching a Progressive Web App (PWA), their conversion rate on the mobile web tripled, while their page-load speed improved by 38%.

  • 3X improvement in conversion rate
  • 38% improvement in page load times
  • 160% increase in shopper sessions

Challenges

With more than 23 million downloads, MakeMyTrip’s native app is indispensable, driving half of all their bookings. But in a market of over a billion people, many potential users only have intermittent connectivity and visit the site from low-end phones with data limitations. These two factors make it difficult to drive users to download a native app, leading to steep drop-off rates and high customer acquisition costs.

In addition, MakeMyTrip found that their mobile website was a better way to get new users to learn about their service. They noticed that the cost of attracting consumers to their mobile website was substantially lower than the cost of driving app downloads. MakeMyTrip found it difficult to build an engaging user experience for the mobile web, however. They initially viewed it as a platform to shift non-app users to their native app, then found that many people still preferred to use the service on their mobile browsers.

MakeMyTrip also wanted to build an effective mobile presence to reach Indians beyond the country’s top eight cities. In those farther-flung areas, users are more likely to use low-end devices on slower 2G or 3G networks. To reach that audience, they needed a solution that merged the benefits of native apps and the mobile web so they could lower the cost of discovery and increase engagement rates.

Solution

The answer? They developed a PWA that led to a fast, reliable and polished mobile-web experience. The new strategy reduced page-load times by 38%. MakeMyTrip also tripled their conversion rates on the PWA. Along with boosting the brand’s overall conversion rate, the PWA drove a 160% increase in shopper sessions and lowered the bounce rate by 20%, compared with their previous mobile site.

With no requirement for users to install an app, MakeMyTrip believes PWA is tailor-made for the low-end devices that account for the majority of smartphone sales in India. Published online, PWAs are completely linkable. And the PWA even works offline, using cached data from earlier online activity. For MakeMyTrip, having both a native app and a PWA just makes sense. “There is no need to choose between the web versus the native app. We don’t want to slow growth for that,” says Anshuman Bapna. “So we balance the two and have both strategies in play.”

With MakeMyTrip’s PWA, users are one click away from content. First-time shoppers using the PWA are highly engaged and three times more likely to convert than first-time visitors to the native app with comparable booking values. MakeMyTrip also noticed that half the bookings on their new PWA were made at the last minute—a stark contrast to their native app, where last-minute bookings account for only 20% of total bookings. “When we add a PWA to our mobile mix in a market of over a billion people, we know that we’re reaching many more customers,” says Alok Bhageria, MakeMyTrip product manager.

Driving mobile traffic directly to the PWA, regardless of the operating system, is profitable for MakeMyTrip. They have an aggressive growth strategy, and the PWA is helping them to reach users in 24% more cities. The road ahead is exciting, as they plan to continue focusing on new PWA technologies that will deliver even better customer experiences and margins.

“Having the ability to operate on any OS is non-trivial in terms of development time and expense. Browsers that may not support all PWA features still render content, so there is really no need to wait. For anyone living in an area of spotty or expensive internet access, the ability to cut data usage is a HUGE deal. We believe that Progressive Web Apps will become the new mobile standard”

Anshuman Bapna, Chief Product Officer at MakeMyTrip

All Stats

  • 3X improvement in conversion rate
  • 38% improvement in page load times
  • 160% increase in shopper sessions
  • 30% more last-minute shoppers
  • 24% more cities with a user footprint on their new PWA
  • 20% decrease in bounce rate
  • First time shopper 3X more likely to convert than App