Online stores need to step up their design game this year. As the consumer experience becomes even more fractured over multiple devices and access points, it’s important to your brand and your eCommerce website that you provide a top-notch experience for the customer no matter what device they’re using.
Mobile design shouldn’t have to be segregated from the rest of a Web page, a lesser experience with just “m.” put in front of the URL. With the right layout and design chops, eCommerce websites can design once and have the resulting site work for many different sizes and layouts using responsive design. It means more than just building a fluid grid – it’s about revising the entire eCommerce Web experience to leverage the myriad channels that customers use to interface with a store.
The best eCommerce websites design for multiple screen sizes and formats. Since 2007, the iPhone has gone through five different screen sizes alone – and that’s just phones running iOS, let alone tablets and the entire Android ecosystem, which is far less regimented than Apple’s walled garden. That only accounts for mobile devices – even though they’ve gotten a lot of traction in the past few years, it’s still dwarfed by the market share of desktops.
You can’t be sure how and where a customer will interact with your website, so it’s important to practice responsive design. Ever since Ethan Marcotte coined the term “responsive web design” in 2010, it has become the drumbeat of modern Web design, repeated almost to the point of cliche.
At the heart of responsive design is making sure a Web page is designed to work for a number of different resolutions, aspect ratios, and devices. This might mean something as simple as automatically serving the mobile-friendly version of a page when an iOS or Android user is detected, or designing more touch-friendly user interfaces.
Using responsive design to improve mobile friendliness has a real impact on eCommerce. When Google optimized its search algorithm to prioritize mobile-friendly sites, Brightedge found that 21 percent of websites that weren’t mobile-friendly dropped off the first three pages in Google’s page ranking.
Laying out a page to look great on multiple devices and screen sizes might take some design work, but a great eCommerce platform is able to optimize a design for mobile that’s responsive and eye-popping.
It’s no secret that the Web moves faster every day. Users want content, and they want it fast. Too often, online stores forget that their performance is measured in blinks, not breaths. Ensuring that an eCommerce website is responsive and snappy is important for encouraging visits and boosting conversions.
Neglecting page performance means lost sales. Verizon Digital Media Services pointed out a number of different studies that all point to the same cold, hard, fact: Poor performance points to puny pageviews. Hitting a gold standard of two seconds or less is difficult for even the largest eCommerce websites, but it’s a goal they should strive for.
Responsive design is a major key to success for designing your online store. Using its principles, you can create a page that looks good and works well on any device. And when Web pages are optimized for performance, they avoid one of the major hurdles to getting more conversions. ECommerce sites should look to create responsive designs wherever they can.