Case study Wiggle

Earlier this year Wiggle rolled out a redesigned brand identity as part of its plan for further international expansion and growth and is expecting to see results from the redesign through increased traffic and sales over coming months.

Wiggle - ScreenShots
51Degrees Helps Wiggle Increase Mobile Browsing Sessions by 220% and Boost Conversion Rate by 33%


Wiggle is motivated to remain miles ahead of its competitors which presents a continuous challenge - mainly because the way in which today’s consumers interact with the internet is evolving. A key goal for Wiggle is to ensure that wiggle.com not only represents the brand, but also delivers a consistently fast and compelling user experience, no matter what type of device the customer is using to visit it.


With the increase in volume of visitors to the site from mobile and tablet devices - currently more than half of all checkouts from the site come from smartphones or tablets - Wiggle wished to ensure that every visitor to the site got an outstanding user experience. Whilst the content on desktop and mobile would be broadly the same, Wiggle wanted to ensure that visitors on mobile devices still got a super-fast user experience rather than waiting for pages to download.

Allows us to serve up a site that is faster and tailored to mobile devices Dave McDermidWiggle

A further thought was around the context with which the mobile device is used. Wiggle noticed quite a lot of the mobile traffic was driven by outbound email and would arrive at the site soon after the emails had been sent. This demonstrated that mobile was becoming the go to place to open emails and action them immediately. At the same time Wiggle noted that whilst visitors were happy to purchase relatively low value items on the mobile, big ticket purchases (such as carbon bicycles) were still predominately made from the desktop.

Knowing that there were key differences in the user experience to overcome on different platforms, Wiggle has extended the role that 51Degrees’ device detection has on their website to drive a more streamlined and effective user experience for mobile users.

About Device Detection

Device detection empowers a web page to understand a great deal of information about the device that is visiting the site prior to making a decision about the content to send to it. This could include information on browser type and capability, processing power of the device and screen resolution to name but three of thousands of categories.

There is a huge advantage with two device-optimised websites Dave McDermidWiggle

Device detection is an important facet of personalisation but does not require a user to register or share personal preferences. Armed with this information websites can send content that is not only optimised for detailed device specifications but also contextualise the likely environment of the user, delivering a better user experience.

For more than five years, Wiggle has been successfully using 51Degrees’ device detection solution to provide granular, reliable and business critical device information. Wiggle downloads weekly updates from 51Degrees to ensure that it has the most up to date information on tens of thousands of device models used to access websites.

How does 51Degrees Help?

51Degrees accurately identifies the type of device its customers are using to visit wiggle.com, including screen size, mobile browser and a number of other device specifics. This ensures that Wiggle delivers the right content and experience regardless of whether they are visiting on a mobile, tablet or at their desktop. Furthermore, Wiggle can send an appropriate version of the webpage to specific devices. For example, lower resolution images can be delivered to smaller screen phones which means the webpage downloads more quickly and the user experience is better.

Wiggle recently reached a landmark when mobile and tablet checkouts combined overtook those that took place on desktop. Thanks to 51Degrees’ device detection solution Wiggle has seen a 220% increase in the number of mobile sessions and a 33% increase in conversion rate on mobile devices within the last two years. This level of mobile usage is vastly ahead of the current market trend and indicates that for Wiggle, this approach to site design is driving market leading results. It also reinforces why Wiggle sees content adaptation for all device types as an important part of the customers journey to purchase.

A Faster Experience

Speed is of the essence for Wiggle. The company is determined to deliver a web experience that loads quickly for customers. To this end the company has benchmarked its performance against other e-commerce sites. Wiggle’s mobile site is 2.7 times faster than comparable responsive design sites that have not been optimised for mobile, something that is critically important to the web team.

51Degrees’ proven, accurate product performance enables this structure to function successfully. The excellent results means that Wiggle is confident in the data 51Degrees provides as it continues to develop in line with its increased mobile users.

Device data ages quickly and for the best results it needs to be as up to date as possible to ensure that Wiggle’s customers are getting an immersive shopping experience. 51Degrees detects more than 290,000 unique combinations of browser, operating system and hardware across a database of 26,000 device models that is growing by 200 new devices every week. Essentially, if any smartphone or tablet or desktop is being used to visit wiggle.com, 51Degrees will accurately detect it.

Wiggle - Product Selection
The key visual differences between mobile and desktop versions:
  • Main menu moved to mega menu
  • Fewer banners, banners smaller
  • Content collapsed to allow easier scanning of page

Techie Information and Implementation

Wiggle has an in-house team who carry out all of the core development work. The main website is a bespoke application evolved over 15 years supported by bespoke internal applications written in Microsoft .net asp, C# and MVC. It uses an Oracle Endeca product database that handles search navigation, left hand navigation, page layout and banner display.

Upgrading was very easy Dave McDermidWiggle

When Wiggle installed the new version of 51Degrees onto the relevant servers, it found the process straightforward and the “upgrading very easy”.

Wiggle downloads the latest data file on a weekly basis from 51Degrees and this too has proved over the years to be a very straightforward process.

Key Performance Differences on Mobile

Wiggle - Smartphone
Key Performance Differences on Mobile
  • Wiggle don’t include JQuery library, instead use small functions around modern DOM functions
  • Wiggle have rebuilt many interactions to use CSS animation and simple class-toggling, less JS and great animation performance
  • Wiggle use a smaller CSS file, focussing on modern techniques and reusable styling blocks
  • Smaller HTML file, loading additional content in as required via AJAX
  • Faster DOM parsing for browser

Benefits and Results

Commercial success & directly drives revenue: 51Degrees helps Wiggle to achieve and maintain site targets – as well as improve conversion rates and reduce bounce rates.

Time & Resource Saving: By using 51Degrees expert and accurate product, internal time and resources can be deployed elsewhere.

Reliable & accurate: 51Degrees is proven and works extremely well in line with Wiggle’s site structure. The 51Degrees solution has not caused any issue since its implementation more than five years ago. Its accuracy and reliability helps Wiggle to maintain a competitive edge.

Easy to install and “upgrading was very easy” Dave McDermid, Wiggle

Happy Customers: Delivering the correct web layout to customers combined with an extremely fast load time makes for happy Wiggle customers.