Back in 2014, it was predicted that there would come a time when mobile internet users would surpass desktop users. Today, a month into 2017, the latest statistics from the Pew Research Center indicate that while 79% of Americans shopped online, over 51% have done so over their mobile devices. Another report from the Business Insider has asserted that mobile commerce sales are expected to make up for at least 45% of the total eCommerce sales worldwide by the year 2020.
So, if you own an eCommerce store and are a believer in hard data, the statistics paint a clear picture of how imperative it is to ensure that your website needs to be responsive or you will risk losing out on a consumer market that’s slowly, but surely, edging out the traditional brick-and-mortar market.
Here’s why your eCommerce website needs to be responsive:
1. It’s Good For Your Rankings - Even Google Agrees!
Google rolled out a mobile-friendly update to its algorithm in 2016, a change which tends to boost the mobile-friendly ranking signal. That is to say, Google tends to prefer mobile-friendly websites over those that aren’t. So, if you want people to find you on the first page of the results, a responsive website is an excellent start. This year, the algorithm is set to become more focused on mobile optimized content, and it’s highly recommended that put a fast-track on that responsive site, if you don’t have one yet.
2. Take Advantage of the Instant Consumer
With people becoming increasingly attached to their phones, impulse and instant purchases are on the rise. A survey found that over 80% of respondents tended to carry their phones with them on the move. This opens up a huge potential for successful sales on your site, provided those users were able to navigate your website on their phone without any frustrations that come with websites that are not optimized for a mobile screen.
You can get the most of this advantage if you time your promotional and social media campaigns for your sales right. Ideally, you’re more likely to gain successful mobile conversions from users between 7 A.M to 10 A.M for mobile phone users and between 5 P.M to 10 P.M for tablet users.
3. Have a Mobile Website? That’s Not Necessarily a Good Thing
Remember, there’s a difference between having a mobile website and a responsive website. A mobile website refers to having a separate mobile website, usually an m.domain, that users are redirected to when they visit your site on their phone. The mobile domain will need to be updated through a separate backend/CMS.
A responsive web design is a flexible website design which automatically conforms to the device it’s viewed on. It involves no redirects to a separate website; it keeps the user on the same URL.
So what makes the responsive design better than a mobile website?
- Updating and Maintenance: With a mobile website, any updates you make will have to be done twice over. With a responsive website, you’re just maintaining one website.
- Content Integrity and Rankings: With two sites, it can result in loss of content integrity, primarily due to content duplication across the same domain. This can make your rankings suffer and in consequence, impact your sales adversely. As Google laid it out back in 2012, a single website, allows Google to crawl your website more effectively, since it’s just working with one link regardless of what device it’s viewed on.
- Sales and Analytics Tracking: With a single website, you can track the analytics such as, user traffic, sales, journeys, conversion rates and other data, through a single consolidated report.
By combining all the benefits of a visually rich, responsive design with an improved shopping experience - that includes easy checkouts and secure payment mechanisms - mobile commerce owners can enjoy high conversion rates and boosted sales numbers.
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