Responsive Design Is Imperative For Any Businesses – Offline And Online
Customer-Centricity | Industry Savvy

Responsive Design Is Imperative For Any Businesses – Offline And Online

on / by Richard Larson

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.

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Article by

Richard Larson

Richard Larson is author and Brand Manager for GoPromotional. He enjoys writing about marketing and business topics, and he writes for the company blog.

Share your thoughts

  • I would be very interested to see CONVERTION/RESOLUTION ratio.

    Because my point of view is that responsive design is complete overvalued.. There are NO low resolution mobiles in the new generation anymore…

    In 2 years MOST devices will show a 1024px layout perfectly. The low resolution mobiles will be replaced till then. And 1024/960 design fits desktop AND mobile.

    So way more important then a responsive design is a well readable design. Larger Fonts, clear message.

    This blog here is not responsible but does well, or not? soon 20% mobile traffic and NOT responsible :-)

    Those which modern high resolution mobiles prefer maybe to surf the pages in the SAME layout as they know it from their Desktop.

    Just my toughts :-)

  • The site conversion ratio compared to the resolution would be different for each individual site. A business with more local traffic and local searches would get more conversions on smaller devices, however their conversions may not necessarily be measurable like an ecommerce sale might be. This is because a conversion for their business could be a visit to a location, a phone call, or a booking of an appointment or reservation. If the business doesn’t ask each customer how they found them, the source of the conversion might be lost, even though it did come from their website showing up on a mobile device. Getting a clear picture of the website and the fonts is precisely what responsive designs do: they make it so that the website can be viewed on any size device, whether it is a smartphone, tablet, computer, or even a large monitor, projector, or smartTV screen. Websites without a responsive designs might mean that a portion of the website will not even be seen on some screens. If your business requires people to be able to read large fonts, then I would suggest that you design a separate mobile site rather than use a responsive design on small devices, however the responsive design will still be necessary for other size screens and even adjust as a browser window size is changed.

  • Yes, yes yes to the comments made in the article. No no no! to the comments above. A separate mobile site? Are you kidding me? 77% of mobile internet usage takes place at work or at home. These are people sitting on their couch watching TV, lying in bed, second screening at work. They don’t want a mobile site, they want the same site, but laid out slightly differently so that it fits on their screen.

    Be sensible, don’t try to make some sort of wacky “mobile experience”, but make the content fit the small display. No matter what the resolution, the physical size will still be small, and a designer should respect that.

    It’s not even like it’s hard to do. If you’ve written your CSS properly it should only take you a few hours to derestrict the column widths and unfloat your layout when the browser hits a threshold.

  • Mahesh

    can you please let me know which type of industries or clients would like to go for responsive/Adaptive web design or RESS..I am very much confused to differentiate this

  • Mahesh: I wouldn’t say that responsive design and RESS for any specific industry or client, because it applies to ANY BUSINESS with a website or local business. Responsive design isn’t so much about the resolution of a website as seen on a mobile device as it is about being able to view and navigate a website on any size screen from smartphone to tablet to a jumbo smart television screen. So every type of business with a website from e-commerce sites to brick and mortar stores should focus on just making sure that they can be found when their target audience is searching for them on a mobile (or any) device and that the potential customer can find what they need on said website and lead to a conversion, whether that is an online sale, a sign up, a booking or reservation, or a visit to the brick and mortar location.

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