Does your e-commerce website use responsive web design?

If not, you currently belong in the majority group. It is estimated that less than ten percent of all online retailers have switched to the responsive format. One possible reason why is that going back and redesigning an entire retail website can be a daunting task. But the other big possibility is that online retailers are unsure whether or not it’s the right decision for their online store. To give you an idea of whether responsive is right for you, here are some things you need to know.

Fact #1: Mobile devices are responsible for anywhere from twenty to forty percent of all website traffic for many websites. That’s why you want to make sure that your online store delivers the ideal experience across all platforms. It’s a case where some online retailers can’t afford not to make the change.

Fact #2: Online retailers are switching to responsive to future-proof their websites. There’s no telling what the next popular Internet browsing tool will be. That’s why many online retailers have decided to make the decision. They simply don’t want to have to deal with building another separate website to conform to the standards of a new device.

Fact #3: Because online retailers can focus on just one site with the responsive format, they don’t have to spend money, energy and time in promoting a separate mobile site. This is probably the big reason why it is so beneficial to go responsive. Imagine having to build a search campaign for your main website and mobile website. This can get costly and challenging as your website gets bigger.

While all this supports responsive web design, there are many challenges of making the switch as well. Here are some of them you need to be aware of.

Challenge #1: Going responsive may call for major site redesigns. In order to make the navigation menu work well for responsive, it may need a major redesign. Certain elements of a website such as javascript and high quality images may need to be replaced for the optimal browsing experience.

Challenge #2: Responsive focuses on the layout but not on conversions. The new format may provide a great experience for mobile devices, but it doesn’t mean that conversions will stay the same. You will also have to optimize each design format to maximize conversions. This is a very demanding task that may hurt short term profits.

Challenge #3: The whole process of switching to responsive design can be time consuming. It’s easier for a small e-commerce website to switch to responsive but far more difficult for a medium to large website to do the same. There are many more pages to redesign, double check and optimize. This can be very demanding on the company.

As you can see, there are many positive reasons for switching to responsive design. However, there are just as many challenges of going through with the process. Many online retailers that have made the switch decided to do so knowing that they are sacrificing short term profits to win in the long term.

Responsive design can be costly as well, so not every company may have the budget to go about with this format. That said, it’s said that the cost will go down over the next few years. As time passes, there will be more responsive experts which will make the price of the services more competitive. So when thinking about going through with responsive design, make sure you weigh the pros and cons carefully.