12 Jan Importance of Responsive Design to Your E-commerce Website
Way back in 2014, the number of people accessing the internet via their mobile devices as opposed to their desktop computers reached a tipping point. The number of people accessing the internet via their mobile devices surpassed that of people doing so via their desktop devices. This validated a trend that had been predicted back in 2008, that more and more people are going to be accessing the internet through their mobile devices, come 2014 going onwards.
It’s 2016 now and this trend is not slowing down. In fact, if anything, it is getting stronger. Today, 80% of all internet users own a mobile device and they are not shy about using them to access the internet either.
Why you need responsive web design
With over half of the world’s population being able to access the internet, all you have to worry about now is how your particular set of clientele is viewing your website or platforms. Chances are that they are a doing so either through their laptops as well as their mobile devices or that they are doing so purely through their mobile devices. Either way, if you want to reach these people and more, you have to consider invest in responsive web design.
What is responsive web design?
To put in layman’s terms, responsive web design allows your site or platform layout to change just as the screen size or device being used to view the same site changes.
This is one of the main reasons why responsive web design is so important. Because not all mobile devices are the same, it is not efficient to design a website for every single type of device. It makes more sense to have a website that will conform to the particular device being used at the time. In short, a website that will fit perfectly on any screen be it a laptop, an iPhone, a tablet or even a gaming console.
Furthermore, the fact that smaller devices often have lower processing capabilities means that your ‘desktop-centric’ website cannot be expected to load as fast on a Smartphone connected wirelessly to the internet as it would on a desktop hardwired to the wall. Statistics show that you will lose up to 40% of your readers if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
With responsive design, website loading speeds do not suffer and neither do picture quality or content arrangement. These websites realign themselves to fit perfectly on any given device and this is what the consumer is looking for today.
The importance of responsive web design to your brand
Google smiles upon it
Even though the fact that using a responsive web design is the best way to reach your customers who are all going mobile today should convince you that this is the right move to make, there are other reasons to support this claim as well.
One of the most important reasons has to do with why your website is visible at all. Google, the biggest search engine on the planet, periodically reviews its preferences and how it looks at websites. You see, Google is all about user experience. If their customers, which is almost everyone with access to the internet, does not get what they want, Google is not happy. And when Google is not happy, those websites that aren’t in compliance with the set recommendations pay the price by falling off the ranking pages.
Google has since set its eyes on mobile friendliness as one of their most important ranking signals. This is because a lot of their customers access the internet via their mobile devices. If your website is not responsive, Google will penalize you by lowering your ranking and thus making you harder to find organically.
With all these ‘Smartphone and mobile device wars’ raging on, we simply do not know what kind of device will be the ‘must-have device’ tomorrow. To sit by and wait for such a device to be designed and released just for you to struggle and catch up with it by designing a new website to fit its screen is quite short-sighted, to say the least. Not to mention expensive and ill-advised.
One of the best things about responsive web design is that it is already built to fit on any given screen, even the ones that haven’t been invented yet. The fact that there might be a new device with a different sized screen on the market tomorrow makes no difference to those who already have websites that are responsive. These websites are already designed to meet the new devices and fit on whatever screens they have as well as give the user the best possible experience.
Having a website designed to be responsive means that you only have your main site to worry about when it comes to SEO and maintenance costs. Since this website fits on every device, you do not have to separately manage a different website so as to accommodate all your readers. With mobile friendliness only getting more important by the day, it is prudent to have your website updated with the responsive design if you haven’t done so already. Your future e-commerce earnings depend on it.