Mobile-Responsive Design: Exploding mCommerce Propels Shift

Dan Engel Commentary

“Mobile first!” once the mantra of corporate America is now turning into a mania. Ensuring websites satisfy and even delight mobile users is a marketing “must-do” for 2015. In fact, from 2013 to 2014, the number of leading websites that employ mobile-responsive designs nearly doubled, hitting 18.7%. Why and how are digital marketing masters jumping on the bandwagon of mobile-friendly web design?

The motive for the mobile-first mania is revealed in new research released by eMarketer. Online purchases from mobile devices will climb a stunning 32.2% YoY from 2014 to 2015, reaching $77 billion.  In comparison, eCommerce in general ascended 14% percent, while total retail sales advanced just 3%.

And 2015 is not the mountain top for mobile commerce. The scaling of new peaks is predicted to reach the stratospheric heights of $153 billion in 2019.

According to eMarketing’s survey, 59% of US retailers have declared that implementing a mobile-responsive design for their websites is a high priority this year. Further down the list of retailer priorities is creating apps for iOS devices at 28% and for Android at 22%.

Why Mobile-Responsive Design?

Yes, retailers are avidly embracing mobile responsive design. Certainly Google’s shift to   mobile-friendly search rankings (AKA “Mobilegeddon”) was the catalyst for this change  But, the changing demands of commerce are enforcing the shift. Websites retooled for mobile typically convert more browsing shoppers into active customers. For example, the chic fashion chain Bebe attributes the “unleashing” of its mobile sales revenue to upgrading to a mobile-friendly site.

The carrot enticing firms to invest in mobile friendly sites is increased sales, but there’s also a hard stick punishing laggards. Poor mobile optimization damages the company brand. When consumers face the challenge of navigating poorly designed and clumsily adapted sites, the company reputation suffers. And worse, that brand damage will likely be amplified by social media.

The Devil in the Details: Delivering Premium User Experience with Testing

Now that you know you need a great mobile website, what do you do? Simply creating a “mobile friendly” site is not going to get you the conversion rates and sales you need. You need a mobile web experience that is seamless, consistent across multiple devices, and entices prospects to becoming  solid customers. Here are a few suggestions for thinking through a cohesive mobile web experience.

Step 1: Spot Visual Checking

Perfecting a mobile-friendly site depends on understanding the rules of inspired mobile design, but also requires the repeated visual inspection and testing of the site on an extensive assortment of phones and tablets. The bad news, says Gartner Research, is that spot-checking is darn expensive and time consuming. Worse, mobile testing will become more challenging “as devices become more diverse and sophisticated, platform variants emerge and applications grow more complex.”

The good news? There’s a tool that takes the guess work and time out of this. Mobilizer delivers fast, easy visual inspection of your site’s performance on an arsenal of actual devices, not mobile device emulators. Real device feedback is the only way to guarantee real results. Mobilizer delivers side-by-side views of your site across an array of devices so you can check to ensure perfect adaptation to the small screen.

Step 2: Deep-Dive Data

Visual display can help you make decisions about the ease of use of your website, but the next step to a successful mobile web conversion is a deep understanding of which mobile devices deliver the highest rate of sales conversions, click throughs, etc. . You need hard data to show that your company’s mobile adaption is delivering results that match the conversion rates of your website…and you need to know which devices are giving you the best results.

Mobilizer offers deep-dive data on performance on each mobile device for you to review as you’re reviewing your website’s mobile rendering. That data enables you to investigate what’s working and what’s not. Now you can identify defects and assess success factors. Take a test drive of Mobilizer and see how remarkably fast and easy it delivers useable results.

Mobile commerce may well be the Mount Everest of our time, beckoning all marketers to ascend its heights, but very few will respect the process enough to be successful. In order to plant your flag on the summit, you will need more than a mobile friendly site. You will need to deliver comprehensive mobile responsive design and superlative customer experience to the masses of mobile customers.


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Mobile1st is the company behind Mobilizer, the mobile optimization platform. Mobilizer helps companies increase revenue and engagement by enabling them to see exactly what their mobile users see, quickly identify display issues, monitor metrics by device, and optimize the mobile customer experience.