In e-commerce, how does responsive design affect the customer experience?
As a reminder, more than half of the world’s population now uses the internet. But it is not the only one to experience phenomenal growth. We have identified several other important elements in this digital age that come along with the rise of mobile devices.
From the report published by “We are social” and “Hootsuite”, “Digital in 2017 Global overview”, almost two-thirds of the global population has a mobile phone and more than half of them uses a smartphone. More than half of the world’s Internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. So, it is extremely important to make websites available for mobile viewing. By 2018, 30% of global e-commerce sales will come from smartphone users.
“A think with Google study” noted that: “shopping online is a multiscreen activity, 67% of people have used multiple devices sequentially to shop online”. Thus, access to e-commerce websites should offer the same customer experience no matter the type of device.
With the highly competitive nature of the e-commerce industry, customers will not hesitate to buy from your competitors after a bad experience in your website. The increase of smart devices (tablets, phones, etc.) has created a strong demand among e-merchants for a website that is visible on any type of screen. But what technical choice can be suggested to respond to this need?
In this article, we have chosen for you a reputed technical solution, which is the “Responsive Web Design” (RWD), although we know that this is only one solution among many others.
Responsive Web design is a design and development approach for the Web, which allows dynamic changes in the appearance of a website, depending on the size of the screen and the device orientation. This is not a design method reserved for mobile; it covers a multitude of devices ranging from tiny phones to huge desktop screens. It is a set of technologies based on flexible or fluid grids, fluid images, and the latest standard for CSS, which is CSS3.
Responsive Web design has started as a trend, but it quickly became a way to consolidate the multi-screen web strategy. A study conducted by the “Aberdeen Group” confirmed that a website implementing the Responsive Web Design was rewarded with an increase 10.9% of conversion rate (visitor to buyer) against a 2.7% for non-responsive websites.
To convince you, find below some advantages of this technology:
- It can save you a considerable amount of time because you will not have to create new content for each device you want to reach;
- It helps to get better search results for your site (SEO: Search Engine Optimization): only one consistent URL for desktop users, mobile users, and search bots. Search engines as Google strongly recommend webmasters to follow the practice of using Responsive Web Design;
- It also reduces overhead costs because the customer has only to pay the development of one website. No need to develop mobile applications or mobile websites. It dynamically adapts the website to different screen sizes, for desktop, tablet, phablet, and smartphones devices.
However, there are some constraints related to this technology, which need to be considered before implementing it:
- It doesn’t always support older browsers and devices. Some web browsers do not recognize the “media queries” which is a system that permits to determine the device screen size and then display the correct layout. It doesn’t mean that there is no solution to avoid this problem;
- It needs a good technical knowledge. Constant technological monitoring is necessary;
- It is essential to plan several tests throughout the project, this is nothing new but repetitive testing is important for any successful design.
Consumers expect and request an exceptional user experience on their mobiles and tablets. Many e-commerce companies are sceptical of this technology as a solution to the multiscreen problem. However, they should pay attention and try to put themselves in the shoes of their customer. Implementing even a small change can affect customers in a positive way.