Do I really need a fully responsive website? A question, which, if asked in 2012/13 would have received a very different answer. At that time, the numbers of people using mobile devices to access the internet were relatively low and the technology for fully responsive was quite new. It was still quite expensive and in some areas even a little unstable. In all likelihood, if you needed a mobile friendly site at a reasonable cost and didn’t need ecommerce, you would have been advised to have a separate mobile friendly site.
However, in today’s digital world, if you don’t have a fully responsive website it’s very likely that you will be losing business to your competitors.
- More than 90% of adults have their mobile phone within arms reach 24 hours a day
- More than 60% of emails are opened using a mobile device
- There was a 112% increase in mobile traffic to retailer sites in 2014
- 70% of people will leave a site on a mobile device if it doesn’t load quickly or is not user friendly
- Google mobile searches now indicate if a site is mobile friendly making it even easier for consumers to avoid a site that isn’t
- 98% of text messages are opened in under 5 seconds
- Last Christmas saw high street retailers using iBeacons and Near Field Communication (NFC) to push offers and information to people’s mobile phones as they were shopping
All of the above means having a fully responsive website is no longer an option, it’s a necessity!
So, what exactly is a fully responsive website?
A fully responsive website is one which loads and displays in a user friendly format regardless of the device you are using. With more than 70% of smartphone owners using their phones to search the internet, it is essential that they are able to view your site just as easily on a mobile as on any other device.
What does ‘user friendly’ mean?
In a fully responsive terms, user friendly means things like
- Images and video loading quickly and correctly; resizing and displaying within the viewable space
- No need to zoom in to read text
- No need to scroll across the page to read the full text
- Content format (priority) changing according to the size of the screen viewable
- The ability to click on links and buttons using thumbs without also clicking other content
- The ability to click on any telephone number shown to call it immediately
All of these things are essential for a good user experience on a mobile device.
What happens if we don’t go responsive?
It’s likely that you could lose business. To what extent will depend on the type of business you are. At the very least you will be failing to maximise on the opportunities that mobile marketing has to offer.
We are a population that uses the internet while on the go. We are increasingly choosing to shop on mobiles and tablets, often switching between devices (67% of searches start on one device before moving on to a second). If we aren’t buying online then we research online before we shop and then research further using mobile devices while still in store.
We expect to be able view and click on offers and promotions that we receive by email or text, regardless of where we are and what device we are using. It’s vital that your site accommodates this.
Setting up a fully responsive website can take a little longer, but taking that bit of extra time will bring dividends in the long run. Not only will mobile searches tell users your site is mobile friendly, guiding them to choose you over one that isn’t, but a fully responsive website also has some other side benefits:
- Longer term cost reductions as you only have one site to maintain
- Easier measurement as you’ll only have one set of analytics to review
- Easier campaign optimisation based on easier analytics
If you haven’t refreshed your website for a while and are thinking it’s time for an update, then fully responsive is the way to go.
If you have updated your site recently but didn’t opt for fully responsive, than at the very least you need to make sure you have a mobile friendly version of your current site. It’s not as cost effective in the long term or efficient as fully responsive for the reasons stated above, but at least you won’t be penalised by the search engines.
If you want help or advice about updating your website, get in touch.