Considering Mobile e-Commerce Solutions: Mobile Optimized mCommerce with Responsive Web Design
There are more than 1000 active mobile devices being used by consumers today. Businesses are trying to figure out how to best present their websites, their content, and especially their ecommerce, to mobile visitors. Regarding mobile e-commerce solutions, I’m sure you’ve heard the debate about a stand-alone mobile optimized site vs. presenting mcommerce with responsive web design. Both have valid arguments, useful solutions and fundamental flaws.
Pure responsive web design for a mobile e-commerce solution is going to be limited as it will target a few of the most popular device dimensions, but is simply not flexible enough for all the different devices being used. RWD presentation will work well in a small amount of situations but simply cannot be optimized across devices and screen sizes. The same argument holds true for mobile-optimized. Detecting devices and redirecting to a mobile optimized site that works across all devices/screen sizes is also getting more and more complex.
Another important consideration in the optimized site vs. responsive design is page load times. There is a powerful, inverse correlation between page load times and mobile commerce conversion rates. The slower the page load time, the lower the conversion rate. Sadly, pure responsive designs tend to have much slower page load times.
- The average time it takes to load a Fortune 100 company homepage on a smartphone is about 5 seconds, (according to the Search Agency).
- Average page load speeds are much quicker on dedicated mobile sites (2.9 seconds) than on desktop sites accessed via a smartphone (6.57 seconds). Amazingly, many Fortune 100 companies have not yet launched a mobile optimized site.
- Responsive sites have the slowest load speeds, timing out at an abysmal average of 8.4 seconds.
We, at mShopper, believe in a hybrid approach. Taking the best pieces of responsive web design and dedicated mobile optimized sites, our mStore 4.0 is a dedicated mobile site for smartphones, phablets and tablets that also uses some key responsive web design elements where it truly matters in the design. This combined approach is the future of mobile web design, especially in mCommerce.
Fundamentally, we want our clients to be able to present an exceptional mobile shopping experience. We needed to take the best parts of a dedicated mobile site (findability, cart management, checkout, etc.) along with the scalability of RWD for header images/banner ads, layout switching, to make the best mCommerce solution to date.