Mobile adoption is changing the way your customers interact with you, purchase from you, and search for your business. For some strange reason, however, there are many businesses who have not yet picked up on this trend. Perhaps they could use the following stats to convince them how much mobile usage has skyrocketed.
- 25% of internet users only access the internet via a mobile device (Smart Insights).
- 56% of US adults are smartphone owners. (Pew Internet Research) 81% of adults aged 25-34 have smartphones and 55% of US adults 55+ own a smartphone (Nielsen).
- 74% of mobile users utilize a search engine during their purchase process and 83% of mobile users intend to make a purchase within a day (Nielsen).
It used to be that going mobile with your website meant giving up on features, content, and usability. The fact that a growing number of people are using smartphones and tablets to view the web is old news. As mobile users exploded onto the scene, developers struggled with ways to make web content work on the smaller devices.
“Mobile friendly” versions of parent sites were created. These mobile sites often stripped of many of the features that made the parent site a popular destination in the first place. The familiar user experience was gone, there was less content, and users were often confused on how to navigate from page to page in mobile sites. It did not take long to realize that merely offering a different version of the same site was not an acceptable solution.
Users want the same experience on their phones that they get on their desktops.
Forcing users into stripped down sites was the equivalent of forcing them to sit at the kid’s table during Thanksgiving dinner. Realizing that major trouble was brewing, developers and designers had to go back to the proverbial drawing board.
Now we have Responsive Design. Instead of creating a whole new website for mobile users, designers are programming their websites to detect the type of device a reader is using and make adjustments on the fly. The user still gets the same content and a similar look and feel without being sent off to sit at the kids table anymore. You have one website for any device. So the paradigm for the immediate future is responsive design.
Here are six reasons why you can no longer ignore ignore responsive design:
Responsive provides better user experience
One of the greatest advantages of responsive design is a better user experience. When browsing a responsive site with your mobile device you don’t have to waste time with zooming, shrinking, and pinching your screen. The site automatically adjusts to your screen size. The simplified reading and navigation drastically improves the usability of your site. According to Google’s Think Insights on Mobile, there is a 61% chance that users abandon sites that are difficult to use. Guess, where they and up. At your competitor’s site.
Here is a responsive site on a desktop monitor:
Here is the same website on a much smaller mobile device:
It can decrease loading times of user requested content
A well-designed responsive website can detect what device your visitor is using and optimize content placement and image size specifically for that device. This allows your pages to render on the user’s mobile device screen faster than a non-responsive site.
Responsive can save bandwidth
Images and content data that have been selected for a specific device are much smaller. Instead of the device having to accept everything and then figure out what to do with it, the server sends only what the device needs and can handle at the moment. Many users are still on slow and limited usage mobile plans. A responsive website shows that you care about your customer.
Makes it easier for your mobile users to participate, not just read, on your site
Stripped down mobile sites often dropped many key features of the main site such as user sharing and commenting. Users could visit the site but not provide feedback or pass along your content to their friends. Today’s responsive web sites can preserve and even enhance these elements. After all, mobile users are the ones who are the most interested in sharing, so why not make it as easy as possible for them to do so?
Google is still the dominant search engine, and it recommends responsive web design. A single responsive website is more effective than two company websites, one regular and a mobile version. The reason is that with responsive you only have one URL. Responsive design also helps you reduce your bounce rate. Google considers a high bounce rate as a negative sign. High bounce means low quality or irrelevant content.
Helps you stay competitive
Without responsive design you are less competitive. You are losing customers, money, and reputation. Mobile adoption is reshaping the way people buy, research, and make buying decisions. Companies that cater to the mobile market will come out on top. Those who ignore it will go out of business.
Images: Author’s Own
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