When you consider an ecommerce business, responsive web design for your virtual storefront is a necessity. The reason for this is simple. The devices your customers will be using to view the site, order, checkout and pay may differ across demographics and regions. What does not change is that a majority of these are smart devices like mobile phones, which account for a majority of the visits and browsing as well as purchase.
This indicates your site must be responsive or optimised for different screen sizes, devices and browsers. In the present digital era, internet shoppers thrive on smart devices for browsing ecommerce stores as well as ordering, checking out and making payments. So, for an e-business, optimising the store for the best browsing and ordering experience across devices is a must.
- Optimising For Mobile
Responsive web design is a term derived from the conception that we develop the site to ‘respond’ to different screen resolutions. Keeping it simple and intuitive is the first step. UX and UI modifications may be required. Remember that content too needs to be optimised for smaller screens.
- Choose Simple Navigation
When you have a complex menu structure with multiple levels, a nested design simply won’t work. Avoid having more than one nested structure. Not only is it easier to build, but it is also more user-friendly and intuitive for customers to use. Spacing is important, too. A finger is way larger than a cursor and arrow, so elements being tapped should not be obscured by fingers on devices with touchscreens. Elements that need to be interacted with on small devices need to be big in size and have adequate spacing.
- Study Grids and Layouts Plus Images
Depending on the screen size, it is quite common to change the number of columns on the page. But sometimes, it is also essential to see how this impacts the layout and the balance. Avoid window thumbnails on small devices, as the columns don’t divide evenly into the number of items. This is not always the case, however.
Choose vector or icon images based on screen size. For example, one consideration should be whether your images are crisp, clear and attractive on retina screens. Responsive web design makes sense even for laptops and desktops, where the retina is a standard, not just iPhones or smart devices. Do consider the bandwidth, speed and size of retina resolution images. Big beautiful images can be missed out in small screens. So, be sure you optimise text as well as images for different screen resolutions. This includes text embedded in the image.
Be clear about how this will adapt to smaller screens. Check if you want hamburger menus, and how big the size of the CTA buttons on your desktop site should be. Also, ascertain if the functionality is diminished if the button is hidden or placed outside the collapsed menu. Hover effects are another big question mark. How will this function on touch devices with no support for hover effects? Consider the pros and cons before adding such effects to your website.
- Analyse Sliders, Forms and Pop-Ups
For your Pathwwway ecommerce site, responsive web design experts also need to consider the forms, pop-ups and sliders. When sliders have left to right arrows, work to optimise these with swipes as it serves as the perfect way out for visibility on smaller screens. Another big concern is whether pop-ups are easy to read on different screen sizes. If web forms are used, are field labels visible and user view zoom-ins easier when users tap on fields to enter text? How many field types are there and are device keyboards ready for every field from the URL to email IDs?
Finally, cart, checkout and payment or transaction workflows also need to be optimised for different screen sizes. In the event that customers can intuitively browse the website, but can’t add products easily, this will definitely dent conversion rates. So, do watch out for these pitfalls, while converting your site to a responsive one.
- Why Choose Responsive Sites?
Last, but not least, we consider the vital value of responsive website design for ecommerce businesses. As businesses grow, so do consumer demands. With a majority of shoppers online using smartphones for online transactions, research points to how 74% of mobile users leave unresponsive sites. Close to 1/4th of all internet users access the online marketplace through smartphones and other smart devices. Investing in a site that is as responsive as your brand is essential.
When web designer Ethan Marcotte coined the term ‘responsive web designs’, he also introduced the concept of fluid grids. These designs change depending on the context. This would eliminate the requirement of similar designs for each context. As fluidity permits users to view similar content regardless of which device they are using, it has revolutionised web design and ecommerce.
Switching to a responsive design is easy. Choose a framework that allows you to upgrade your code to responsive sites. Convert the code next. For this, while moving from fixed to responsive designs, establish CSS style rule breakpoints. The more one identifies components for replacement, the easier it is to convert site codes.
The next step is to test the converted site on multiple devices. Invest in responsive videos too. Media queries need to be considered with respect to responsiveness too. Combining fluid grids with media designs is easier if you want to create a responsive site without sacrificing quality user experience. Remember that text is only one component of responsive sites. Infographics, videos and images are equally important. So, do remember to consider all aspects of the web design from the grids and the layouts to the images, text and CTA buttons.
Whether it’s spacing, navigation, headings, CSS and HTML coding or converting metadata, every small detail counts. Making the switch for your e-business site from a static to responsive web design is also easy, when you have a quality web design and development company on the job. So hire the best in the business and enable your ecommerce website to be as responsive as you are to your client’s requirements.