Developing a slick retail website is tough work. When brands are then told that they need to build multiple versions of their website, including mobile-friendly designs, it's easy to feel resistant: the costs are high, the time intensive, the technology unfamiliar.
These are valid fears for leadership that doesn't understand how tech trends affect commerce, but they can inflict serious damage on a brand in the long run. Thanks to responsive design, the demands of catering to different devices and platforms aren't as significant as they once were. Responsive design is a one-size-fits all Web design solution that fits any device, anywhere.
Now, instead of building multiple websites — at a very high cost — companies can invest in a single version of their website that modifies itself to fit the device functionality of each individual user. It's cost effective, SEO friendly and offers other benefits, including unified design.
But business leadership may still ask, "What's the benefit of considering mobile in the first place?" Here are some convincing key points.
1. The Mobile Shopper Is a Different Animal
Want to increase your sales revenue? Go after tablet shoppers. According to Business Insider, retail traffic, conversion rates and average order price are all higher on tablets than on smartphones. Tablets offer bigger screens with better, more detailed product views than smartphones can provide.
Top retailers are already driving billions of transactions a year from mobile devices. By recognizing these different behaviors, brands can make an aggressive push toward mobile shoppers and try to connect with these unique behaviors.
2. Mobile Traffic Will Increase
Already, we've seen a huge rise in mobile traffic, and according to Cisco, rapid gains are projected through at least 2018, growing from an annual run rate 18 exabytes in 2013 up to 190 exabytes in 2018. The sheer increase in mobile activity means mobile traffic opportunities will increase, but there are also tangible SEO incentives to consider. Google's search-ranking algorithm, for example, will now punish websites that don't optimize for mobile and we're already starting to see these effects in the search engine results pages. Solutions like responsive design enable this optimization without creating duplicate pages and content targeting different devices.
As such, responsive design will improve your Google search rank, which should increase search-driven traffic. As mobile shopping increases, a responsive Web design will be well-positioned to generate revenue.
3. Consumers Expect Mobile Accommodation
If you believe the saying, "What the customer wants, the customer gets," then using responsive design is not an option — it's a necessity. Search Engine Journal notes that recent data from Smart Insights indicates that 61 percent of consumers develop a better opinion of brands that offer a satisfying mobile experience.
These figures should offer consolation to companies worried about investing in a mobile website they believe they don't need. As more and more shopping activity is done on smartphones and tablets, there are tangible gains to be had by investing in responsive design and demonstrating your commitment to the user experience.