Magento eCommerce Stores And Responsive Design

August 23, 2013In Web4 Minutes

If you are running an eCommerce store by now shire you experienced a significant increase in the amount of traffic you are receiving from mobile devices. It seems everyone has a tablet or a smartphone. People are increasingly choosing to make purchasing decisions from their mobile devices, making the need for a mobile-friendly eCommerce store that much more important. Magento seems to be the most popular of the open-source eCommerce solutions. With the structure in place of giving way to responsive web design, it is important to understand the benefits, capabilities, and other considerations to be aware of.

Why Responsive Design?

The main purpose of choosing a responsive web design for your Magento store design has to do with usability, accessibility, and user experience. A well-done mobile-optimized website can also maintain a store’s brand identity and consistency for users who may bookmark the site from their mobile device so they return to their desktop or laptop computers.

As far as usability, a responsively designed store will preserve all of its features, even if those features are rearranged to fit on a screen. Navigation remains intact, the checkout process is nearly identical, and images will show across each device.

Responsive sites also tend to be faster on mobile devices and rank higher in search engines than sites not designed to be responsive or with a dedicated mobile version.

All of this leads to more return visits, a more professional appearance and lower shopping cart abandonment rates.

Capabilities

A Magento store designed to be responsive should have all of the same capabilities as any other site with a responsive theme. It will have one set of codes, will not have to call different functions for a mobile device, and will simply rearrange certain elements around the page to fit the screen size.

The one drawback is that those on smartphones, they will likely have to scroll much farther down the page to navigate to different sections of the site. This should have no impact on finding related products, as those are typically listed directly above or below product descriptions.

Further Considerations

Not that long ago Google and Bing announced that all websites with a mobile-friendly design will have a better chance of ranking higher than sites lacking a mobile-friendly design. Since search engine traffic is essential, it is a good idea to optimize sites in order to give them the best chance to rank well.

Finally, a responsive site is simpler to maintain than a mobile site. While it may be a bit more expensive in the initial setup process than a site designed only for computer monitors, it is more economical than allocating development resources to develop both desktop and mobile dedicated sites. It is also a long-term investment when considering all the benefits and the potential for lost revenue by not having a responsively designed site.

Conclusion

At this point, there is no better option to take advantage of the boom in mobile traffic than responsive web design. As technology evolves, sites will get faster and easier to use. It makes sense to be on the front end of this trend.

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