As you may or may not know, Responsive web design (RWD) in short is a style of web development that allows you to build a single website that provides an optimal viewing experience regardless of screen size or device type. In other words, the website will ‘respond’ to the device you are using. Although RWD is not a new concept by any means, you would be surprised how many large eCommerce sites still support and maintain a “mobile version” and a “desktop version” of their website. Some big ones include: Amazon.com and eBay.com.
When it comes to eCommerce, creating a responsive experience for a new online store is a pretty straightforward task when building from the ground up. You simply focus on the mobile experience and then scale that solution up to larger screen sizes. However, if you already have a eCommerce platform that was built with only desktop in mind, going responsive is a much more difficult task. You ultimately have to make the decision to either attempt to preserve elements of your existing eCommerce platform, or scrap everything you know and head back to the drawing board. It’s a harsh reality, but I would recommend an approach that is somewhere in between.
If you are currently maintaining a desktop and mobile version of your website, take a look at the metrics that mean the most for your business. This could include things like, time on page, items per order, average order total, etc. Once you nail those metrics down, take a look at each site to understand its strong points and weak points. Keep the elements that perform strong and apply these to your responsive design. Then ditch the under-performers. This is a simple yet effective approach to at least start off in the right direction.
To help motivate the push for responsive, below are some really solid examples of how going responsive had led to more revenue:
- Walmart.ca – 20% Increase in Conversion Rate post-responsive website
- ThinkTankPhoto.com – 188% Increase in Revenue post-responsive website
- O’Neill Clothing – Over 600% Increase in Revenue on Tablet/Mobile post-responsive website
- SkinnyTies – 42.4% Increase in Revenue post-responsive website