After surpassing the $1.25 trillion mark in 2013, global eCommerce levels are expected to continue on their meteoric rise throughout 2014. While that means businesses, like yours, need to continue putting their best foot forward when it comes to SEO, social media marketing, and content marketing, the fact is that the name of the game this year is mobile.
Why Should You Care About Mobile?
Commerce generated through sales on mobile devices, whether they’re smartphones or tablets, is going to explode in 2014. After growing by more than 68% from 2012 to 2013, mCommerce spending in the United States alone is on track to grow by an additional 28% by 2017, eclipsing $113 billion annually. Clearly, the mobile market can no longer be thought of as a fad to be ignored. This means that all businesses have to stop building out their webpages for exclusive use by traditional desktop web surfers. Times are changing.
Even with that being said, 51% of mobile users say they’ve experienced a website that crashes, freezes, or administers an error message when they try to use it. Nearly three-quarters say they’ve experienced a website that takes too long to load. Loading speed may seem like a non-issue at first glance, but there’s something you need to keep in mind: 40% of userswill permanently abandon your website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Imagine the revenue you’ll lose.
The Answer is Responsive Design
You can search the web high and low for an answer to your mobile optimization problem, but you’ll only ever wind up with the same solution: responsive web design. As the name implies, responsive web design is the way of developing a website so that it responds, or adapts, to whatever screen and platform it’s being viewed on. Just like any other type of web design, there is responsive web design and then there is great responsive web design. Here are a few ways you can offer your customers the latter:
Build the Right Options into the Design
Responsive web design works by matching the screen resolution of a user’s viewing platform to a bit of code within the site itself. This resolution coding, known as a breakpoint, is what tells a platform how to interpret and format a page. To make your page viewable on as many screens as possible, you should include all of the most common screen resolutions in your design. For example, <768px is perfect for viewing your site on large-faced smartphones and smaller-faced tablets.
Don’t Over-complicate Things
Just because using a responsive web design necessarily leads to better mobile performance, that doesn’t mean you can do no wrong. As in the past, over-complicating your website with poorly written code, too many images, or FLASH, will take your page right back to the days of egregiously long loading times. Keep your design simple.
If you’re two months in to 2014 and you’re still using design methods that completely neglect the importance of the mobile market, you have some catching up to do. Responsive web design –great responsive web design– is the key to your being appealing to mobile users this year and going forward. Don’t let them down.