There are justified customer-centric reasons for developing your site only for a particular environment (for a certain device type/screen size), but if you decide to go with RWD, you are responding with a “device-agnostic” approach, and providing the usability appropriate for a variety of devices, that is built for the future.
Our Magento certified frontend developer Hrvoje, who is very passionate about RWD and has done a number of projects and lectures about it, said that “in days ahead, everything on the web will be ‘responsive’ by default, and we will not be talking about your ‘mobile strategy’, we’ll talk about your ‘web strategy’.”
What to think about before deciding to go responsive
The decision about investing in RWD for your e-commerce site won’t be only because you have a large number of visitors that come to you from their mobile devices. There are a number of other reasons that cheer for responsive approach, so here are some influential factors you might want to think about when deciding will your Magento store “go responsive”.
1. Maybe you don’t have that many mobile users, so you think that you don’t need to change your (theme) approach. But why is that? Perhaps you will have them much more, if you enable them a good mobile experience of your site.
Hrvoje explained this one quite clearly: “The bottom line is that customer doesn’t care if your website is responsive, mobile or any other kind. He only cares to finish the goal that got him to your website in the first place. Reading an article, buying a product, searching for a location… whatever he’s after. And you should give him the best possible user experience, regardless of his platform and resolution.”
2. So you now get that this is not just about a mobile approach – responsive provides a multi-device approach. Developing responsive is developing for the future, and it covers a greater world than just mobile. There is a good chance you will earn more visitors from a number of platforms, if you make a better user experience for their platforms.
3. When developing your Magento store responsively, you are saying a big “yes!” for easier upgradeability. Yes! If you have a separate mobile site, and separate desktop version, upgradeability is more difficult than if you have only one (RWD) theme.
4. Google says it’s better. “This is because responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize content.” (Read more about this at searchenginewatch.com)
5. Only one SEO strategy and only one-everything strategy. It’s so easy to understand this. You make campaigns, optimizations, keywords, URLs, and everything else with only one, your RWD site in mind – you don’t need separate campaigns and strategy for separate versions (desktop+mobile) of your store.
Will RWD improve your business results?
We have talked to some of our clients for who we have developed responsive Magento stores, since we wanted to know why have they decided to go with RWD and how are they satisfied with the results.
I have talked with Sarah Richardson about the Ploom project – http://www.ploom.com/
Thanks to our Dino and Drazen for the photos for this article
Their decision to go with responsive design was because of allowing a better user experience: “Responsive design makes it easier for us to maintain the site and ensure that regardless of the device, the consumer will always see the most up-to-date version of the site and have access to our entire selection of content.”
Although they think that work on Ploom.com is never done, they say that they are very pleased with the transition from a mobile version of their site to a responsive design that delivers the same content across all platforms.
I have also reached out to Joann Johnstone and asked her about their experience with RWD on their luxury designer fashion store we developed at http://www.zeeandco.co.uk/: “In a digital world it is important for customers to be able to interact across many devices and screen sizes and responsive design is the best way of implementing this strategy. Although the responsive website was more expensive and complicated to build, management costs and administration time savings have been made since the site launch.”
Joann said “more expensive, more complicated” – but what about the results? She said that there were a few challenging occasions when functionality was not responsive friendly and compromises had to be made during development, but the reaction from their suppliers and customers has been incredibly positive and their increased conversions reflect the success of the project.
Are you thinking about going responsive?
After your big holiday sales results, you will probably have space to move your business ahead. Perhaps you and your customers are looking for a responsive refresh of your ecommerce experience. Since we expect openings for taking on new projects in early 2014., feel free to get in touch with us to start planning…