A mobile retail strategy is not an option anymore; it should be a primary consideration for all consumer-facing businesses that intend to target and benefit from online sales.
According to the latest figures from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) has shown that UK retailers are missing out on a shocking £6.6 billion per year due to a lack of investment in their mobile offering. This is occurring despite retailers reporting that the mobile share of their online sales almost doubled between 2013 and 2014 from 15 per cent to 28 per cent.
“Sales on Mobile Devices breakdown as 25% on smartphones and 75% on tablets”
The same report has shown that 15 per cent of consumers now use mobiles as their main shopping device and that these shoppers tend to be more prolific online spenders overall.
Indications are that four in every ten online sales now take place on a mobile device.
In our view, based on the studies we have read, Ecommerce shows no signs of slowing down, and with the rising popularity of Responsive Design methods and Principals the need for a separate website dedicated to mobile devices – commonly called mobile sub domains – but which is better?
Mobile Sub Domain vs. Responsive
Is your site mobile ready? Google’s latest algorithm update rolled out on April 21st targeting business whose websites we’re not mobile friendly. If you haven’t updated your site, you could be losing tons of traffic from mobile search.
Why Does the Mobile Site Look So Different? This is because there’s a 99.9% chance that it really IS a different site. The site is usually located “m.domain.com (though it can be anything, such as “mobile.domain.com” or “www.domain.com/mobile/”) instead of www.domain.com.
It should be noted that though websites employing Responsive Web Design can in theory have a completely different aesthetic than the desktop site, and it’s not a requirement that the “m” site look completely different than “www.”
However, Responsive Web Design sites typically don’t show a large change of aesthetic between screen sizes. It’s just more common with “m” subdomains because they are truly different websites.
For an existing Ecommerce retailer, the move to a responsive website can be a scary prospect, but there is a lot of help in the marketplace to ease the transition.
|Mobile Sub Domain||Responsive Design|
|Rendering Experience||A mobile site is essentially a copy of your website, where the server does the work to deliver an optimized page that’s smaller and easier to navigate. The solution can really customize a unique experience for mobile users. A good choice when it might be too expensive to redesign responsively.||In responsive design, the device does the work and automatically adjusts according to a device’s screen size (large or small) and orientation (landscape or portrait). It switches between these options on-the-fly. A very good and flexible solution.|
|Domain Protection||With a mobile site, you must create a different domain (many companies choose to differentiate theirs by “m.domain.com”). Can dilute domain and hurt organic search traffic. Can add to website management because you have to maintain two separate silos of content.||Responsive design lets you keep your own domain—nothing changes except code on the back-end. Googles thinks this is the better solution: …Maintaining a single shared site preserves a canonical URL, avoiding any complicated redirects, and simplifies the sharing of web addresses…|
|Link Equity||Because a mobile site uses a separate domain, links shared from mobile browsers will not count as search link equity toward your primary site. Not as good for search.||Since responsive design simply embeds new code on the back-end of your website, your company’s link equity is preserved. Better option for search.|
|Future-Ready||Re-working of a mobile site might be needed in order to stay current with next-generation phones and mobile browsers.
Could require higher maintenance and expense.
|The technology is more forward-thinking because once added to site it will work on next months and next year’s devices without having to be programmed further.
A better return on your investment
The user experience is crucial in the world of Ecommerce, with retailers constantly fighting to increase conversions. A mistake in the shopping or checkout processes can result in an abandoned shopping cart and potential revenue lost.
As you may have gathered already, the ability to produce a website fit for almost any screen requires more than your average HTML. Working with a designer, like FHML Limited, that understands responsive design principles will go a long way towards launching or refreshing an Ecommerce site that is functional and effective.