The number of purchases and other similar transactions made by mobile users shows an annual growth of 20-30% since 2013, and this tendency already can’t be ignored. Therefore, online stores should offer such customers the same quality of website usability as users of standard PCs have. This task can be successfully solved with responsive design, which will be discussed in detail in our article.
Let’s start with the responsive web design (RWD) definition. So what is responsive design? According to Google, the design of a website is responsive when it meets the needs of users that browse it on different devices. Hence, the layout of content adapts to a certain device depending on its size and capabilities. For example, on a smartphone, users see the content of an online store in one column, on a tablet in two columns, and on a computer monitor shows a full-size version. Such automatic adjustment allows users to enjoy a perfect browsing experience in any specific case. Furthermore, calls to action, buttons, and other elements of a web resource are displayed in a way that makes the usage as convenient as possible, eliminates the need to scroll, etc.
On 21 April 2015, Google launched a mobile-friendly algorithm, which considers whether websites are adapted to be browsed. This factor directly influences the ranking of an online store in search results for a certain query. You can check how website looks on such devices with the help of a special analyzer.
Generally, responsive web design is no longer a fashionable trend. However, in the modern e-commerce world, it turns into a necessity. Despite the same user experience, a responsive layout also positively impacts the speed and SEO of an online store.
Responsive Website Examples
With the help of special services, you can see how a certain online store looks on different devices. A good example of such tools is Screenfly. View how one of the online stores we developed with responsive design is displayed on the screen of a notebook (1366×768 px resolution):
And on the screen of an iPhone 6:
Users will have to constantly scroll, which is inconvenient and takes a lot of time. Most probably, this will make them leave the web resource, thus affecting the bounce rate. As a result, the owner of the online store will lose potential profit.
Why is Responsive Design So Good?
As we already mentioned, the responsive web design of an online store allows making it more comfortable for users that browse the web on mobile, such as smartphones and tablets. Below we will tell you about several other benefits that such online store design brings to an e-commerce business.
According to the data provided by a set of studies, the number of online stores developed using a responsive layout is still less than 5%. So if you promptly switch to such a design in the nearest future, this can give you a competitive advantage in the niche.
Better user experience
The main disadvantage of browsing an online store that is not adapted for mobile is that users are forced to do additional scrolling and other unnecessary actions. This irritates them and nudges them towards closing the page of a website. Responsive layout design prevents such situations and helps to make the interaction with an online store on mobile convenient.
As an alternative to responsive design, you can create a mobile version or develop an app. Yet in the first case, you practically have to launch a second online store whereas the application development is pretty costly: from 2000 to 5000$ or more. The path of responsive web design is the easiest one. A responsive website looks different on various devices, but you are dealing with the same website despite these discrepancies in a display. Hence, you don’t have to change different systems, which simplifies the maintenance and reduces the cost of technical operations.
Better ranking in Google
Google considers the optimization of a website for mobile users an important factor that affects its ranking in search results. We already know that in ranking on mobile, non-responsive websites will have lower positions in search results than those optimized.
Is Responsive Design Really Necessary in Case?
After reading all the information in this article, you will surely come up with a question: “Do I need responsive design, or can I do with what I have for some time?” To make the right decision, you have to go through a few steps.
Step 1. Analyze competitors. Just browse the websites of main competitors and check whether they are using a responsive layout. If yes, they probably have solid reasons to do that, and you also should consider such an option. You can check any website mobile responsive design using already mentioned service Screenfly.
Step 2. Use Google Analytics. A special report in this web analytics service can tell you what devices people use to visit websites and the share of smartphones and tablets. If they comprise at least 10% and you see that the number will continue to grow, it’s time to think about responsive design.
These two steps are enough to understand whether you need to make the website responsive. Of course, in some niches, the share of mobile visitors is very small and unlikely to grow, but in most e-commerce spheres, mobile audience comprises 20-30% of all users, and sometimes even more.
The number of people who use smartphones and tablets for Internet access continues to grow. Hence, you’d better prioritize the responsive design of the website if you are looking for ways to take the business to a new level, broaden the audience, and increase sales.