Is Your eСommerce Site Responsive to All Users and Devices? 17 Points to Verify

By the end of 2017, it is said 70 percent of Americans will make payments via their mobile phone. A recent Federal Reserve Board report notes that in 2015 about 39 percent of U.S. mobile owners used their mobile devices to shop online. Although mobile purchases still trail those of desktop, smartphones and tablets help 82% of users make product decisions.

The drastic shift towards mobile nudges eCommerce stakeholders to reevaluate their platforms and match evolving industry demands. This entails responsive web design, mobile-oriented performance and UX, as well as advanced adjustments to embrace the widest variety of modern users possible.

Things that you lose having mobile-unfriendly design

Google ranks mobile-unfriendly pages lower in mobile search results. In 2015, Google rolled out their 4/21 upgrade. The idea behind it is to penalize mobile-unfriendly pages in search results and enforce responsivity across various devices. While this impacts search rankings on smartphones and tablets for individual pages only, you still lose visitors that come to make decisions and compare prices. Go to the mobile-friendly test to check your pages or get a mobile usability report.

You’re neglecting social media campaigns. Nearly 80 percent of the time spent in social media accounts for mobile. Acquiring visitors from Facebook or Twitter thus becomes nearly vain, unless you’re targeting that 20 percent only.

You’re increasing bounce rates. Even intelligently crafted landing pages turn out to be ineffective once your visitors must zoom in to read texts or they merely can’t see target zones without scrolling and adjusting a viewport. This entails extremely high bounce rates compared to desktop results. According to studies, 63 percent of users are prone to leave after a few seconds of experiencing a poorly designed page.

Low speed reduces engagement. Having a responsive page that nicely adapts its sections on mobile doesn’t necessarily mean you provide a mobile-friendly experience. Above-the-fold content (i.e. the content that’s rendered on the top of a viewport and doesn’t require scrolling) should become visible within 3 seconds. A loading threshold that low provides the highest engagement level. To check whether your page is fast enough, try the Google page speed tool.

The bottom line is that a mobile-friendly site isn’t just fancy or trendy. It directly impacts your conversions and eventually revenue. To ensure that you deliver the right experience, you should consider both design and technical aspects that would tailor your eCommerce site to mobile demands. If you’re in the early stages of eCommerce website development, it’s better to start creating the mobile design prior to the one for the desktop.

What are the measures you should take to ensure that your website delivers the right mobile experience? We’ve broken down the points into three categories: design, tech, and various advanced techniques you can employ.

Design optimization measures

Pop-ups that are NOT OK according to Google:

  • Those that fade the main content making it inaccessible. They can either close after some time or wait until a user finds and carefully taps a tiny X.
  • Those that entirely cover a screen.
  • The layouts that have above-the-fold content that merely looks like a pop-up. These aren’t really pop-ups but they require users to scroll down to reach the main page contents.

OK pop-ups:

  • Those that warn about cookie usage.
  • Those that ask for age verification.
  • Login dialogs providing access to private content or the content stored behind a paywall.
  • Small banners that consume a third or less of screen space.

Performance optimization measures

Advanced measures

If you want to gain greater entry into overall responsivity and user-friendliness, there are some additional things you may consider worth your effort.

  • Don’t make color the only means of conveying information; use icons and texts to support your message.
  • Texts should be contrasted sufficiently to be readable for people with color blindness and low vision.
  • Label all forms to let users understand what kind of information is required.
  • Try to limit the number of forms where typing is necessary.
  • Avoid vague descriptions to links, making the target of each link clear.
  • Create concise and simple texts.

A controversial question on m. subdomains

Although mobile websites seem to be losing their position to those with responsive web design, there’s no definite answer to the question of ditching your m. subdomain if you have one. In terms of performance, mobile websites are generally faster. But frequently, by introducing an m. subdomain you must sacrifice content or features that are available on a desktop version.

Google is, however, clear on which way to go and recommends opting for a responsive web design. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that your mobile website will be ranked lower compared to its responsive analog. There’s no evidence supporting that. So, the best advice here is to prioritize your user and never make responsive web design the only mobile strategy. For the advanced solutions that have sophisticated business logics we recommend considering mobile app development.

A simple rule: Put the user before the technology.

There’s a common misconception that should be put to rest. In pursuit of the latest trends and concepts, it’s easy to forget that the end user doesn’t care whether your website complies with all engineering standards. Most of the people can’t distinguish between a site that’s mobile-friendly or one that isn’t.

So, the high-priority goal can’t be articulated as We need RWD to cover mobile, because it’s not created to please a designer’s or an engineer’s aesthetics or professional feelings. The final judge is always the user.

Hey, tell us what techniques you employ to make your eCommerce website mobile friendly. What are the most critical ones? If you’re still contemplating whether you should opt for responsive web design or build an app, check out our iOS App Development Checklist. There’s a lot of interesting stuff.

You can find the original at AltexSoft’s blog: “Is Your eСommerce Site Responsive to All Users and Devices? 17 Points to Verify”.

Being a Technology & Solution Consulting company, AltexSoft co-builds technology products to help companies accelerate growth.

Being a Technology & Solution Consulting company, AltexSoft co-builds technology products to help companies accelerate growth.