Verizon Wireless Mobile Site
The Verizon Mobile Site is the mobile fallover site for the main Verizonwireless.com website. The purpose is to provide (almost) all of the functionality of the main site but still be presented in a streamlined interface for mobile browsers. Visitors to the site can browse devices and accessories, purchase new phones, make plan changes, and add new lines to existing accounts. It’s been wildly successful for Verizon and was featured by Adobe as, “one of the best e-commerce mobile solutions currently available today”.
The site’s architecture follows the White Label Store’s design closely. It is constructed using the MVC3 Framework, and on the front end uses JQuery and JQuery mobile in a liquid layout. I thought JQuery mobile was a great choice since the site’s visitors are on a myriad of devices and resolutions. Verizon customers could be on iOS, Android, Windows Phones, or even older Blackberry devices and JQuery Mobile allowed us to easily support them all.
The mobile site heavily uses Akamai cache by cleverly constructing individual urls that can be cached based on their GET parameters. User information is passed to the server in very small JSON requests, and results are sent back in equally small responses. This way those few calls that can’t be cached are only as large as absolutely necessary to transmit the data required. These design decisions are essential because the site’s traffic has been exponentially growing the past year, currently running at around 6 million users a month. The site also processes around 4000 orders a month as well.
In addition to JQuery and JQuery Mobile, the site uses Knockout’s declarative UI binding, and the JQuery Validation library for client side form validation. The great thing about Knockout is that since we’re transmitting JSON in our data gathering forms, Knockout can bind to that data and show UI changes with very little code at all. The insurance selection page for example, has only one single view declared and Knockout generates the view for each phone by template binding.
The site makes extensive use of Test and Target to track shopping trends. For example, the billing page will sometimes display extra copy or swap fields around to see if position or verbage can increase conversion. The site did see an increase in orders by auto-populating the credit card type selection field based on the entered credit card number. This kind of data is constantly monitored and tweaked to improve sales and the site flow.