By: Catherine Perry
When you have an ecommerce business it is essential that you have customers who purchase from you. That sounds like a “no brainer,” right? Well, how do you get customers who buy? There are many factors in attracting customers. Several factors–such as being found on searches, having products that people want to buy, having a well-designed site that is easy to navigate, and having great content—contribute to buying customers. A responsive website accomplishes these things.
Two of the most important aspects of a successful website are search engine optimization (SEO) and ease of use. In order for your business to be found when potential customers search, it must be optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) pushes the site up on the search pages. And, in order for the site to be easy to navigate and use, it needs to be designed so that it is adaptable to the device a person is using. A responsive website meets these two goals.
WHAT IS A RESPONSIVE WEBSITE?
First, what exactly is a website that has a responsive design? According to the article “How Important is Responsive Design?” on www.huffingtonpost.com, a responsive website is one “that has been constructed so that all of the content, images and structure of the site remains the same on any device.” This means that an online shopper sees the full view of the site–same design and format—and sees no difference in the site’s appearance whether on a smartphone, tablet or personal computer.
The www.forbes.com article “5 Essential Reasons You Should Be Using a Responsive Website Design Now” makes a distinction between a “responsive website” and a “mobile-friendly website” in that the latter looks good on a mobile device but may not look the same on devices with a higher resolution.
For the customer, a responsive website makes for a friendly shopping experience because it provides easy reading and navigation without the need to resize or scroll horizontally when using a mobile device. What it means for the website owner is that you don’t need multiple websites for all the various devices consumers may be using when shopping.
Here are 5 reasons why your website needs to be responsive.
REASON #1: SHOPPING USING MOBILE DEVICES IS STEADILY GROWING
In the last few years, there has been tremendous growth in the use of mobile devices for shopping, gaming, social media, and other websites. This requires that your business website is adaptable so that prospects and customers can easily browse and find information regardless of the type of device they are using.
People are busier than ever and not only want convenience, but also flexibility to shop from anywhere at any time. Mobile devices provide it. According to www.marketpath.com, in their Digital Marketing Insights newsletter, “80% of consumers regularly use their smartphones to shop online and 70% of shoppers use mobile phones while in stores during the holidays.” Your website has to be adaptable on all devices to capture these shoppers.
REASON #2: SOCIAL MEDIA INCREASES MOBILE VISITORS
There are a lot of statistics that back up the fact that social media is a big factor in marketing a website. Social media provides many leads for an online business and you need to be able to capture those. According to a study from www.comscore.com, a digital advertising firm, “55% of social media consumption happens on mobile devices.”
This means that when someone sees something on social media about a product and/or site, and is on a smartphone or tablet, that person is likely to share or access the site right then from their mobile device. This mode of shopping will only continue to increase as time goes on. If your site isn’t functioning on a mobile device, viewers will get frustrated, leave, and you won’t get the business.
REASON #3: GOOGLE RECOMMENDS HAVING A RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
As of April 2017, according to Net Market Share, Google has over 77% of the global marketing share in terms of the use of search engines. With this percentage of search engine usage, we all have to look at pleasing Google! In April 2015, Google introduced Mobilegeddon that stated responsive web design as its recommended mobile configuration. Google even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice.
A responsive design website is recommended because there is one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, making it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize content. In addition, Google is now placing a high value on the user experience when ranking sites, which means that a responsive website will improve your SEO efforts across all platforms.
REASON #4: PROVIDES A BETTER USER EXPERIENCE
This is one of the greatest benefits of having a responsive website since you really want to please your visitors. Unresponsive websites usually distort the way your website appears on mobile devices. This is distracting and frustrating for the consumer who has very little time or patience. Customers want to be able to maneuver on the site, find what they are looking for, and make the purchase quickly. The ultimate goal is to provide the ability to use the site smoothly and seamlessly, resulting in an optimal shopping experience without regard for the device they are using.
REASON #5: EASIER FOR YOU TO MANAGE AND INCREASES RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Before responsive development became the preferred method, businesses had 2 websites: 1) the main site and 2) a mobile version of the site. This meant that there were multiple versions to manage and update so there was inefficiency and redundancy.
When you have multiple websites to manage there is opportunity to make mistakes by not updating or managing it properly. Having one website means you only have to update content once, which means you have lower web content management costs and, therefore, a higher return on investment.
All in all, having a responsive ecommerce website is a win-win situation for both the business owner and the customer! Do your research to find the right platform for your business. Go to www.pure-ecommerce.com to find out more about starting your own responsive design website business. And, be sure to review the responsive website features that we use to capture the attention of shoppers in the online marketplace!