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Why Is Responsive Web Design Important For E-Commerce?

Responsive web design has really taken off over the past few years, and especially in eCommerce. Are you already on board? If not, you probably would like to know what the responsive web design buzz is all about. In short, responsive sites adjust their appearance based on the characteristics of the device they’re accessed from  – whether that’s a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone or anything else. Mobile-friendly websites offer great navigation on small screens.

Let’s discuss what responsive web design can do for your eCommerce business.

The Torment of Non-Responsive Sites

Let’s imagine that you’re trying to purchase a last-minute gift from an eCommerce store using your smartphone. If you’re shopping on, your experience is likely just fine. But if you’re shopping on some less popular site, then perhaps the mobile version has an awkward layout, and you have to zoom to read tiny text, and scroll all over the pace, and tilt your screen at all possible angles.

Right about now you’re thinking fondly of your laptop and feeling that your iPhone or Android device is not really all that “smart.” But it’s not the device you should blame – it’s the eCommerce shop that doesn’t offer a mobile-friendly website! By this point, you’ve probably decided to call it quits and purchase from another site. You’ve wasted your time.

An unsatisfactory shopping experience leaves you with a negative image of the brand. This is why online shops need responsive eCommerce websites that are optimized for all devices that shoppers may be using!

Responsive Sites Offer Consistent Design, Generate Revenue

Design consistency is good for branding, and a strong mobile site is likely to generate a positive brand image among shoppers. Thanks to responsive web design you can easily create an eCommerce shop with a consistent design language across devices.


We hardly need statistics to tell us that mobile usage continues to grow rapidly. According to a recent Nielsen study, 171.5 million Americans (i.e. 71% of the US population) own a smartphone. The cost of building a mobile-friendly website is a small price to pay to reach this vast market.

Another source, the Walker Sands 2014 First Quarter Mobile Traffic Report, indicates a 78% increase in mobile traffic over the past two years (since the first quarter of 2012). You might also be interested in hearing that a Cisco white paper forecasts a 70% increase in mobile Internet usage globally from 2012 through 2018. Most strikingly, Nielsen Media analyst Nicole Hall suggests that there are now more people on the planet who own smartphones than there are people who own toothbrushes!

These numbers tell a simple story: if your eCommerce platform is not responsive, then you are doing your company an injustice and risk missing out on a lot of potential revenue.

According to research from ElectricPulp, the O’Neill clothing brand achieved a 112.5% increase in transactions on iPhone and iPad and a 333.33% transaction increase on Android devices after going responsive.

What About a Separate, Discrete Mobile Site?

There are several disadvantages to hosting a separate, mobile-optimized version of your site in place of a single responsive site. The most significant downside is connected to Google search rankings. Google recommends responsive websites to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Significantly – from the SEO standpoint – all traffic to a responsive mobile-friendly website is directed to one URL, while optimized sites require two URLs, each of them receiving their own traffic. Because of this, it is harder for Google to index distinct, mobile-optimized sites. Long story short, with a separate mobile-optimized site you do not get the search engine ranking you deserve.

WebiNerds Can Make Your Site Responsive

Here at WebiNerds we can revamp your current eCommerce site to make it responsive, or we can build you a new mobile-friendly website from scratch. Responsive web design and development will reduce the complexity of your existing website and future-proof your site for new devices.

Responsive eCommerce site design ensures consistent branding and offers comfortable online shopping for your customers. Always remember: Choose your eCommerce site responsively! :)