5 Upsides of Responsive Web Design for eCommerce

Ever since Google announced its major update making mobile-friendliness a crucial ranking factor back in 2015, responsive websites have gained relevance and popularity. However, that was not the beginning of responsive design — not by a long shot.

The first website with an adaptable layout based on viewport width was created by Audi just after the turn of the millennium. Designing for the web may have been desktop-focused during that time.

Still, it always meant having to cater to a wide range of screen and viewport sizes, so responsive design was a natural response (pun intended) to the increasing demands of the market.

Independent web developer and author Ethan Marcotte officially coined the term “responsive design” in 2010. Since then, we’ve seen further advancements in technology and more and more people turning to their tablets and smartphones to browse the web.

It is safe to assume that responsive web design’s importance will continue to increase in the future, with most experts predicting mobile internet browsing to become even more prevalent.

Add all of this up, and it becomes clear that responsive web design is not going anywhere. Crucially, this design approach offers quite a few advantages in the ecommerce sphere, and this article will cover the most notable ones. Read on!

Advantages of Responsive Web Design for eCommerce

Responsive design has many benefits. It can boost your conversion rates, positively impact your user experience and SEO efforts, and improve many other aspects of your online store.

Here are the five most important features and benefits of responsive web design for ecommerce.

1.      Better User Experience

Responsive websites tend to offer an improved user experience, and the quality of the user experience will be a significant factor in the users’ decision on how long they want to stay on your site. If navigation is difficult, or the readers are forced to keep pinch-zooming, they won’t hang around for too long.

On the other hand, if your site can respond to the changes in screen size and adapt accordingly, visitors will have no trouble filling out forms, pressing buttons, and accessing links and menus. Therefore, they’ll be more inclined to spend additional time in the store.

Finally, improved site usability and user experience are likely to lead to more referrals and an improved word-of-mouth campaign overall, bringing new prospects and customers to your ecommerce website.

2.      More Mobile Traffic

According to Statista, mobile devices generated nearly 55% of all internet traffic in the first quarter of 2021. This is a clear indication that you can’t afford to ignore mobile users, and responsive web design is one of the best ways to cater to this demographic.

3.      Reduced Cost and Easier Maintenance

Another way to reach the ever-growing mobile audience is to create a mobile-first website. This means having a site specifically created for mobile devices that would trigger whenever a smaller screen is detected.

However, this approach comes with a couple of downsides. First of all, creating separate versions for each mobile platform as well as desktop requires a lot more time and effort. Secondly, updating and maintaining several websites will be more demanding than working on one responsive website alone.

With two or more versions of a site, even the best ecommerce developers will be forced to divide their recourses and time, meaning they won’t be able to focus on other vital tasks, such as A/B testing, content creation, customer service, etc.

4.      Unique Content

Another problem with having separate mobile and desktop versions of a site is that you’ll essentially be forced to duplicate your content. Although search engines are getting more advanced by the day, they can still have trouble prioritizing different versions of the site on different devices.

This can result in both versions of the website receiving lower search engine ranks, so for truly optimal results, you’d need to create two separate SEO campaigns and strategies, investing significantly more resources in producing unique and original content for each version.

Another option is to use a canonical tag on your mobile site, which many ecommerce websites resort to, effectively making their mobile websites unrankable. Simply put, having two separate SEO strategies for two versions of the same site is impossible for most small to medium-sized companies.

All of these headaches go away with a responsive website.

5.      Simpler Analytics

With two distinct versions of a site, you would need to keep track of two sets of data to know where your prospects are coming from and how they’re interacting with the store. This means keeping track of multiple conversion points, funnels, sign-up and thank you pages, and more.

On the other hand, a responsive site allows you a much simpler view of your website stats and lets you stay on top of things with a single set of data.

Best of all, you still get all the crucial information about which browsers and devices your visitors are using, how long they spend on your site, and where they tend to put a stop to their buyer’s journey.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, a responsive website could bring your ecommerce website a wide range of benefits.

If you still don’t have a responsive site, planning a new layout and redesigning the website according to 2022 trends should be your first step. This will help you figure out which elements to keep and which to eliminate, as well as how much content you want to keep on the site.

Once you’ve set a clear direction for the redesign, you can think about choosing the template and theme for the site, as well as figuring out the logistics such as hosting.

If you do everything right, you just might see the advantages outlined in this post come to fruition, leading to higher engagement rates, conversions, and sales.

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