Mobile Web Design: For today’s retailers, it’s no longer a question of whether to create a mobile strategy, but when. The process of building a mobile strategy should take into consideration the explosive growth of smartphones, tablets and wearables, as well as other mobile devices used in-store, and determine how they impact all the sales channels currently offered. When you think of it, every consumer sales experience can be delivered through a mobile device as well as POS systems and kiosks. But the most important channel of all is ecommerce.

The inclusion of sales channels into the ecommerce landscape requires a more technical approach. In April of 2015, Google announced that it would use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, rewarding websites that are fully optimised for mobile platforms. With this critical business fact in mind, below are the three fastest-growing trends for addressing ecommerce through the mobile web, along with the pros and cons for RWD, AWD and a blended approach known as RESS.

Three mobile Web Design trends

There are currently three approaches to creating an ecommerce site that works well on multiple devices: Responsive Web design (client-side scripting), Adaptive Web Design (with server-side scripting) or Blended Web design (responsive with server-side components). What’s the difference? What should you use and why?

Responsive Web Design

If your goal is to design and develop a single fluid website that will respond to the user’s device, allowing a well-designed experience to work on a wide range of screen sizes—from the smallest smart phone to the largest desktop, and every tablet or laptop in between—then Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a great way to go.

CSS and Java Script are used here in a client-side approach to modify the presentation of pages to fit a user’s screen. The technology behind RWD is built into the front-end of the website and executed on the user’s device. Server-side changes are not needed and no redirects or third parties are required.

RWD Pros

• Higher SEO: Having just one URL for each page can drive higher search rankings and avoid the SEO dilution that can happen when you’ve got multiple sites serving the same content.
• Streamlined focus: Business, design and development teams are focused on one project, optimising your team’s efficiency and creating a simplified calendar of release cycles.
• Seamless across devices: RWD can deliver a seamless user experience across devices. It’s all the same site – it is simply displayed in a way that’s responsive to different devices. A consistent experience can help you reinforce a positive brand impression and drive higher conversions.
• Better reporting: Business reporting and analytics are easier to manage on a single RWD site. There’s no need to combine data from multiple sites.
• Easier back-end integration: User accounts and data do not require complicated synchronisation across devices. A logged-in user sees the same account on every device.
• Better reach: Flexible design does not require re-work when new devices are released (larger phones, smaller tablets, etc.). This means you’ve got a future-proof design and better reach to non-desktop devices.

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