Forrester Shows Why You Need Responsive Web Design

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Craig Smith  |  Founder & CEO

By now, we don’t need to mention the general importance and magnitude of mobile. How it drastically boosts internet ad revenue or how its user experience will likely soon become a Google ranking factor. But, just to drive home how much of an impact your site can have if it’s not made for mobile, Forrest Research recently released a study explaining that 53 percent of mobile shoppers don’t complete ecommerce transactions because they are more comfortable with the functionality of their PC. Would-be customers are so put off by a bad mobile shopping experience that they will set down the smartphones and boot up another device to make a purchase. What happens in that precious time between letting go of the phone and flipping open the laptop could cost you sales.

This isn’t to say that people aren’t interacting with retailers’ sites via mobile. “Data shows across all of our client base that in a lot of cases a majority of retailers’ website traffic is now coming through their mobile website versus traditional desktop,” said Mark Tack, vice president of marketing for the mobile marketing company Vibes, in an interview with Mobile Commerce Daily. However, if your site is rampant with some notorious mobile repellants, like too much pinch and zoom or actions that are not supported on mobile, that traffic may not stay long. As many as 90 percent of mobile users say they haven’t bought anything through their phones in the past three months, according to Forrester. More than half of those cited unfamiliarity with the mobile version of a site as the main deterrent.

One of the best ways to make phones and tablets feel like home for these users is to implement responsive web design (RWD). “Approaches like making sure your website has responsive design is a smart way to go,” Tack said. Renovating all your pages with this strategy ensures that everything a user can see and do on a PC is available and optimized for a variety of mobile devices and screen sizes. The transition is a bit of an overhaul and there are many facets to consider when balancing responsive web design with user experience. However, bringing consistency across multiple platforms will likely prompt shoppers to get comfortable and proceed to checkout without any speedbumps. Ultimately, customers want the easiest path to purchase. Recreating one that feels the same on-the-go as it does on a PC may be just what they need to seal the deal.

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