Responsive design – a type of design that insures a website will show up on any size device. Be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or even a large smart television, responsive design allows you to build one website that works across all platforms. A great concept, right? There is no need anymore to cater different screen sizes separately and even your content can finally be managed in one central place.
But is responsive design only popular because its convenience? Or is there more to it?
Today, more people than ever search the internet via their mobile devices – even when there is a computer available. This makes it important for your website to be visible and usable on different screen sizes. More precisely, your website must work on your customers’ devices of choice.
Keeping up with technology is a must in order to be a successful business in this climate of constant change and innovation. Whether you sell online or not, your business should have an attractive and effective website. Why? Because your customers will be searching for your product or service online.
After people have found your website, you should make sure they can both see and use it. It would be a shame to let all your other marketing and search engine ranking efforts go to waste, because they cannot read your content, or don’t know how to navigate through your site.
Mobile commerce is getting more important
According to a Google study 81 percent of mobile search is driven by speed and convenience; which means if searchers do not find what they need quickly, they will look elsewhere. That is why responsive websites that can be viewed on any size screen are growing more important than ever. Making your website responsible will make your business accessible to your customers.
Even if your business is a brick and mortar store, having a website enables potential consumers to find you.
Recent Google research revealed that 9 out of 10 smartphone searches resulted in an action for local businesses, such as a purchase or even a visit to the business location. Therefore, even if that business is a brick and mortar store, having a website enables potential consumers to find it.
In the e-commerce space — mobile commerce is a super big deal — asserted First Round Capital Partner Chris Fralic. In the fourth quarter of 2012, he said, “13 percent of all e-commerce was mobile commerce. Transactions on eBay conducted via mobile are in total about $13 billion or around 17 percent of the company’s gross merchandise value.”
The Google study referenced earlier also points out that 45 percent of mobile searches are goal oriented, meaning that the mobile searcher is in the final stages of the decision making process and ready to immediately visit a business. 64 percent of searchers are even inside a store when they search for information.
If you have any doubt as to whether it is time to consider responsive design for your website, Mashable named 2013 The Year of Responsive Design. If there is any question about the popularity and prevalence of multiple size screens, tablets will outsell desktops this year. According to a Nielsen report from February 2012, 50 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones; that number has likely increased a great deal in the past year since that survey completed.
64 percent of mobile searchers happen while people are inside a store.
6 Key benefits of responsive design:
Accessibility: Smartphone users have their phones with them at all times. Second screen viewing is a big opportunity because more 80 percent of young TV viewers (ages 18 to 24) simultaneously use a phone or tablet while watching the big screen. When smartphone and tablet users are searching for your product or service and have found you, don’t make them leave because they cannot see your site properly.
Budgeted Improvements: The cost of a redesign to incorporate responsive design is likely to be less than the cost of lost sales due to missed opportunities when mobile searches cannot read your website. In this digital age, consumers are in need of immediate access to what they are looking for and they are quick to leave one site in a matter of seconds if it is not providing what they need.
Increase Conversions: Besides the increase in mobile users being able to navigate your site, desktop users will be able to easily navigate your website regardless of the screen resolution size or browser settings they are using and even if they minimize the browser, all of your site will be seen and accessible to all users.
Low maintenance: With a responsive design you only need to maintain one website. While the layout changes, the content stays the same across different devices. You can simultaneously update content or fix bugs for all devices. Focus on one single website and put all your resources into the optimization and maintenance of that site. No more need to prioritize or handle different versions of your site separately.
Brand consistency: With one website that works on both desktop and mobile screens, you will find it much easier to keep up a consistent brand identity. No more style guides that need to be communicated between multiple parties, such as different agencies for the desktop and mobile versions of your site. The look and feel of a responsive website will be consistent across all screen sizes.
Be the Future: Responsive design is the future of websites, so being ahead of the curve will position you as an industry leader and company of authority for your subject matter. As new technology emerges, more smart televisions, tablets, and smartphones will be even more accessible to a greater number of people and more individuals are becoming more comfortable with technology, your business cannot survive in the future without keeping up with the advancements.