Many retailers and websites have mobile-optimized sites, desktop sites and redirects to pages designed for a certain device or screen size. But more recently the concept of responsive design, determining the device and screen resolution that is being used to access a site and optimizing the layout and navigation accordingly, has been growing as a popular and widely used alternative with a recent case study highlighting positive effects on sales conversion.
Consumers access the web from more devices now than ever before. Desktop computer sales are declining while smartphone and tablet ownership continue to increase. Not only do consumers own multiple devices and use any or all of them to access the web and shop online, but screen resolutions vary across smartphones, tablets and desktops. While it is still important to offer mobile apps, many consumers prefer to use mobile web browsers for some or all online activities, including commerce.
Internet Retailer recently posted a case study about a college sports apparel retailer that benefitted from responsive design. While many websites utilize responsive design for both PCs and mobile devices, this retailer focused only on their mobile site. But with a variety of screen resolutions for the many makes and models of smartphones, optimizing the mobile retail site proved worthwhile. Prior to optimizing their mobile site with responsive design the retailer’s mobile conversion rate was 3.2 percent while mobile sales accounted for 7.5 percent of total web sales. After adding responsive design the mobile conversion rate increased to 5.8 percent while mobile sales comprised 18.2 percent of total web sales.
Not only do responsive design techniques optimize the resolution of pages to best fit different sized screens, but they also enable features such as reorientation of the layout when a user rotates their device, or enabling swiping to between columns and items in a catalog with touch screen devices. The college apparel retailer credits these types of improvements with increasing mobile sales conversion and mobile sales overall.
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