Traditional website designs are quickly becoming obsolete, especially in the world of e-commerce. There is no doubt that mobile is starting to take over. According to smartinsights.com:
“New insight from comScore published in their February 2014 market review shows the picture that marketers need to build up. This panel data shows that the majority of consumers are “multiscreening”, accessing retail sites on mobile or desktop, so consistent experiences across device need to be deployed.”
Let’s take a step back and discuss exactly what responsive web design (RWD) entails. In a nutshell, a responsive website will “respond” to almost any size screen on which it is displayed, protecting the integrity of the website design and navigation even when it is viewed on different mobile devices (tablets, smartphones, etc.). While many non-responsive websites can be viewed on mobile devices, they are not designed to adapt to different screen sizes, causing them to not display or function in the same manner as they do on a desktop.
A responsive website is different from a mobile website because it is a single website designed to function and display the same across all platforms.
Major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart were early to adopt RWD. However, many smaller businesses have not been so quick to incorporate RWD into their marketing strategy. This can be detrimental as more and more consumers become accustomed to the ease and convenience of RWD.
In many cases, contrary to popular belief, RWD is more affordable than traditional and mobile websites. Here are some examples of RWD sites costing less than USD 2500 to develop. If you want to better understand their responsive features, try viewing on multiple devices:
Now that you have seen how RWD works, let’s examine a few of its benefits:
1. Enhanced User Experience (UX)
• Pages reformat to accommodate whatever device the user chooses to utilize.
• The full website will display and remain user friendly on a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet, eliminating the need to develop a separate mobile website.
• All content automatically adjusts to screen size so there is no need to zoom and shrink text or images on screen. One Website, One URL, One SEO Report
2. One Website, One URL, One SEO Report
• A stand alone website and mobile website requires the development of two separate websites with different URLs.
• With RWD, there is no need to edit and maintain two separate websites.
• Google even suggests and recommends RWD as it favors mobile-optimized websites when delivering keyword search results made on a mobile device.
• RWD eliminates the need to track traffic statistics between a desktop and mobile website. Site analytics tools are designed to accommodate multiple devices and responsive reporting, condensing tracking and analytics down into a single report.
3. Decreased Bounce Rate, Increased Conversions
• When someone visits a website that is not user friendly, the chance of them immediately leaving the site is increased; RWD sites tend to have a lower bounce rate.
• RWD tends to have a higher conversion rate because the website will convert when viewed on any device unless it has an underlying technical or coding issue.
Another advantage of RWD is it allows the user to immediately make the purchase from any device. There is a greater likelihood a business will lose a sale if the customer looks up an item on their smartphone or tablet, and must move to their desktop to make the purchase.
Also, RWD retains features such as contact forms, chats, etc. when using any device, making your business more accessible to your customers. Since inquiries and orders may increase with RWD, be prepared to ramp up. But, don’t let that deter you from RWD – too much business is a good problem to have! If you find you are having difficulty handling fulfillment or customer inquiries in-house, consider outsourcing some of these tasks to a reliable provider such as Global Response.
If you have not considered RWD, now is the time to do so. Your competitors are probably considering it, if they aren’t already doing it. Good luck!
About the author: Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications and is also a writer for Global Response. Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.
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