…And Edge Out Your Competition
You want to stay ahead of the curve. Get a jump on your competition and expand your business even further. But what’s the best way to do this? Online advertising? Big shiny Facebook campaign with super giveaways? More blogging? Better, updated content?
Yes, by all means do all of these things. But there is one other thing that may bring you an even bigger edge even if you don’t do all that other stuff.
I hear the crickets going out there. Responsive? What the heck is that? Why is that more important than other advertising?
Read on and find out why reinvesting in your website to make it responsive might be the best thing you do for your business all year.
What is a Responsive site?
A responsive site is one that will resize and reformat so that it is easily viewed on a smaller screened mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. The graphics, the links and the text all resize so that mobile users can easily read the important information and access the links without tedious zooming in and out or scrolling back and forth.
A responsive site is basically your site, recoded so that it will recognize a device with a smaller screen and display the site correctly on that screen size.
Mobile is a similar idea but requires a different URL to send a different copy of your site from your server. So instead of having one copy of your site to maintain, update and optimize for search, you now have two.
That’s why Stealth recommends responsive over mobile. It’s more flexible as screen sizes change, is better for your search engine ranking and doesn’t require two completely different sites to work.
Why is it so important?
The whole idea of having a website is to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find you, find out about you, and start building trust with your business that can lead to sales. So what happens when more and more customers are looking for businesses on their smartphones and tablets? They still want the experience to be easy and the site to be awesome.
Mobile users are on the rise and as smartphones get faster, cheaper and easier to use, people will rely on them more and more to find out where they want to buy. Especially when they really are looking for where they want to buy.
In other words, your location, business hours and if applicable, prices available on a mobile friendly site are absolute must-haves.
A Little Story to illustrate…
Imagine this scenario. A 20 something hipster is out for coffee with friends. He hears about an awesome new product that will save him an hour getting ready in the morning – a hair gel deodorant that will also clean your plain lens glasses and your smartphone screen. What could be more awesome?
You are the owner of the product and have a store front two blocks from the aforementioned hipster coffee shop. Kismet? I think so!
Hipster thinks this is a brilliant product and he wants to buy. His friends don’t know where your store is, so he pulls out his smartphone. Searches for the product name. Your website, thanks to some superior SEO, pops up. Good news!
Hipster heads to the site. Disaster! Nothing loads! The amazing, high res images you added to your homepage freeze up! The text stretches on past the edge of the screen and your location is held hostage in the far bottom right corner of the page. Might as well be in the Arctic Circle.
Hipster waits. For five seconds. His friends are leaving. He checks one more time. Nope, still not loaded. Phone off. Hipster on to new things. Product unsold. Opportunity missed.
You have an awesome website! You have great SEO! You also have a design that eats cell data for lunch and some serious scroll issues. Time for a rethink?
The big opportunity for E-commerce
In the US, whose trends closely resemble Canada’s, 91 percent of tablet users and 90 percent of smartphone users accessed e-commerce sites from these platforms.
90 percent! Compared to 78 percent of desktop users. If you sell online, you are missing a big opportunity to get mobile users shopping if you don’t have an awesome, responsive e-commerce site that makes it super easy to buy.
Why emphasis on easy? Because mobile shoppers are often impulse shoppers. They hear about it, they find it from the phone that’s in their hand, they buy it.
Conversely, if you rely solely on your store or your website to sell your product, you are leaving money on the table.
Imagine you have a product. To sell that product from your store, you have to advertise the product, convince people they want it from afar, then encourage them to get into some mode of transportation and physically come to your store.
Or they have to turn on their desktop computer, sit down where Facebook and email are lurking for their attention, find your product and work through the buying process.
So many places for you to lose a customer!
You have an awesome responsive e-commerce site? They hear about you, decide they like what you have, pull out their phone and bam! They bought one with their already set-up account in PayPal, which conveniently you use to process payments.
Done and shipped.
How easy is that?
Here are some good articles on the mobile revolution for some easy reading. In case you aren’t convinced.
“Study: Consumers More Likely to Shop on Mobile Devices than PCs” John McDermott, Ad Age Digital
“How Mobile Devices Will Shake Up the E-commerce Business” Bill Ready, Forbes
Mobile Site vs Responsive Design, Smart Solutions