Why Responsive Design Isn’t Always the Best Answer for Mobile Commerce

In an age in which business consumers are more likely to research products via mobile devices than desktops, having a responsive ecommerce design is often a good place to start. With little work on your part, you can improve customers’ mobile shopping experiences and likely attract new shoppers too. (Search engines, Google in particular, reward sites that display content in a mobile-friendly manner.)

Ecommerce platforms with responsive design automatically reformat all of the information on your ecommerce website so it fits on smaller screen sizes. For example, customers might see three or four columns of product content from their desktop, but they’ll see it organized in one or two columns on their tablets and smartphones.

While responsive design is the easiest method to implement (assuming your ecommerce platform supports it), it can also be slow to load and cumbersome to navigate. Why? Because it pushes every piece of the desktop website, including ads, banners and unnecessary information, to the mobile devices.

That’s why many companies, especially businesses with large and sophisticated ecommerce sites, use browser-based mobile (m.mobile) websites instead. These sites allow you to scale down the content and functionality for mobile devices, creating a more streamlined experience for smartphone and tablet users. Browser-based mobile sites deliver simpler navigation and faster load times than responsive design. A single browser-based mobile site is compatible across a variety of device operating systems, making it easy to share, update and integrate with other mobile technologies.

Native mobile apps, on the other hand, are platform-specific. They can deliver highly efficient user experiences and represent a great way to lock in repeat business by providing customers with quick-click convenience for procurement.

Despite what some vendors might tell you, responsive design is not always the best, and certainly not the only way to implement mobile commerce. It’s a nice place to start, but keep your options open. Be sure to seek out platforms that support mobile methods beyond responsive design, so you can add mobile capabilities based upon your sales growth objectives and market demands.

For help, check out Computer Pundit’s eCommerce21 storefront design and management platform. It features a responsive design system to automatically scale storefronts to fit mobile devices, plus creates synchronized browser-based mobile sites and native apps with all of the product content, functionality and backend systems integration of the desktop site. You can learn more at www.computerpundits.com or call 1-888-786-3487.