According to a new projection from Forrester Research Inc., US e-retail sales will grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 10% over the next five years, topping out at $370 billion in 2017 (Source: Forrester). This is huge for the ecommerce industry.
The largest driver behind this growth will be mobile devices. eMarketer Inc. estimates that US retail mobile commerce sales will reach nearly $39 billion in 2013, up 56.5% over 2012 and almost triple the amount spent in 2011 (Source: eMarketer). Mobile commerce is definitely on the rise!
A large number of ecommerce businesses are aware of these statistics, nonetheless, most are unsure if they should implement a mobile optimized or a responsive web design website.
It sounds like an easy decision. After all, 2013 has been hailed by Mashable as “the year of responsive web design” (Source: Mashable). However, there are several reasons why responsive design is not always the right choice for ecommerce businesses! Here are 5 reasons to consider before deciding to invest in a responsive design website over a fully mobile optimized solution:
1.) Bad Web Performance
Responsive web design is still a new technology, and even though new developments and improvements are made constantly, most sites do not function perfectly. Large files and images equal slow performance and a bad user experience which has a profound effect on online consumer behavior.
64% of respondents, in a survey conducted by Forrester Consulting, reported that they would simply purchase from another shop if they had a bad experience on an online shop (Source: Akamai).
2.) Slow Loading Time
Mobile users have slower internet connections and responsive web design requires them to load the same heavy front codes as desktop user, which significantly increases loading time. This is detrimental for ecommerce. A Gomez and Akamai study concluded that 40% will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load (Source: KISSmetrics).
3.) Longer Checkout Time and Higher Cart Abandonment Rate
Poor user experience is strongly correlated to higher shopping cart abandonment rates. According to a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive, nearly half of mobile consumers (47%) said that they did not complete a purchase because the checkout process took too long (Source: Jumio). This is obviously a major obstacle for slow loading responsive design websites, which do not provide the same user experience as a separate mobile optimized solution.
4.) Bad for Sales
Higher cart abandonment rates means lower conversion rates. The only way to ensure higher conversion rates is by providing a better user experience. On the positive side, Econsultancy concluded that 62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales. (Source: Econsultancy). So there is a solution to increasing sales, however, responsive design might not be your best bet.
5.) Not an Affordable Web Development
The development of a good responsive design website can be pricy because the whole site has to be redesigned. Mobile optimized websites are usually a more affordable option in comparison to responsive web design sites.
Apparently, responsive web design has several flaws. These need to taken into consideration before deciding for or against a responsive web design. For a more in-depth comparison of the pros and cons of responsive web design read Shopgate’s newly published white paper.
This is a guest post written by Kacey Kenney from Shopgate. Original and exclusive posts are considered for features on Capture The Conversation. If you are interested in writing a guest post for us, send us an email.