You check the weather on your smartphone before you leave for work, use your desktop to do business for the day, and relax with a good book on your tablet at night. Who knows when a bit of browsing might sneak in?
The way that you, and the rest of the world, use the internet has changed, and your business website must change along with it. Responsive design is a new must: you either get one, or you sink into technological oblivion. This once unnecessary feature has quickly become the most vital tool in the business arsenal, and a quick look is all it takes to understand why.
What is Responsive Design?
Responsive design is, as the name implies, responsive. It responds to the medium on which it is being viewed – large screen size or small, fast connection or slow, retina display or standard. Rather than remaining stagnant and forcing the user to adapt (or refuse to, as the case may be), responsive design molds to its environment.
In other words, a responsive website detects what type of device its user is connecting from. It uses this information to adjust its size, resolution, and other features to the user’s device. This means the best possible user experience for mobile, tablet, and computer users and the ease of maintaining one site for you.
The Growing Mobile Market
Mobile users are taking over the internet, and fast. Mashable estimates that more tablets may sell this year than laptops, to the tune of over 100 million. In fact, 34% of adult Americans already had tablets by January 2013, and 56% had smartphones, according to the Pew Internet Project.
Websites are increasingly seeing a larger and larger mobile audience as a result of all this tech buying. Mashable, in the same article, says they believe 50% of their views will be from mobile devices by next year (currently 30% of their users are on mobile devices).
And these mobile users aren’t just browsing: many of them are buying. A 2012 study by Adobe revealed that tablet users have a higher conversion rate than even computer users, and that their average order value (AOV) is fast approaching that of traditional computers. Smartphones, according to Monetate study, have an even higher AOV than tablets.
Responsive Design Makes All The Difference
Google did a survey to find out how much consumers care about responsive design. The verdict? They care a lot. Here are just a few of the findings:
– 67% of mobile browsers said they were more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site
– 61% said they would make a beeline for the competition if a website didn’t suit their mobile needs
– 48% – nearly half – of consumers also said that companies that didn’t have mobile-friendly sites seem like they don’t care about getting business.
According to the data, not only is failing to commission a responsive site losing you business, it is also losing you respect. A responsive website, on the other hand, will keep new customers coming in and old customers happy, whether they prefer to browse during their coffee break at work or while waiting in line at the grocery store.