Responsive design was before an hot topic but is today required to meet the customers minimum expectation in the multi-channel experience.
Today the concept of e-commerce is much more complex than it was before, but in a good and cost saving aspects. First of all, the smartphones and tablets have changed the customers behaviour, and already 15% of all people have used a device to complete an e-commerce purchase. Consider that many online stores is still not adapted for mobile, that is an impressive figure.
Importance of resposive design
As an online retailer, if you store is not already responsive, it should be your first priority during 2016. It can be argued how complicated it is, and many platforms claim to have responsive design supported. This may or may not be true. Responsive design is not really solution specific, it is you that have decided how the design should look depending on mainly screen size and orientation. Instead of only doing a design for desktop, it now requires and agency to do the design for multi devices. More important, it also requires additional testing, both when implementing but also as part of the regression testing. Responsive design will come with an initial cost an increased maintenance cost whatever platform you choose. But is there any other choice? Likely not.
However, responsive design is today supported by all new templates and themes. If you decide to modify a template similar to your needs, you will have it responsive more or less for free. If you create your own custom theme, it is actually still not very time consuming for the UI-developer to make it responsive.
It can be argued that high end purchases will not be done on mobile devices anyway. An increased behaviour today is that customer browse using mobile devices, and when it is time to purchase and enter a lot of data and payment etc he moves to a desktop. This behaviour can be considered to be the result of poorly optimated purchase flows for mobile devices, as well as the inconvenience of a small screen of no keyboard. Anyway, it is important not only to adapt the purchase flows for all channels, but also to allow the customer to seamlessly move between the channels. Automatic population of data, social media login, as well as not asking customer too many questions is simple ways to accomplish this. Today no online store can afford to throw an error to the customer after patiently trying to completing the checkout, or erasing all entered data because of a wrong validation.
E-commerce for all channels
Many companies have sales in many different channels, most commonly physical stores, online store, my pages and through customer service. Traditionally there is different systems being used for each channel, but today that seems costly and redundant. There is many successful cases where the e-commerce store can be used for all channels, uniting the flow into one.
For some, it might seems distant that the physical store uses the same checkout as the online store, but it could be a very interesting reality. Reporting and statistics will be the same, discounts and loyalty, and also payment methods. If a customer can pay with bitcoins online, why shouldn’t he be able to pay with bitcoins in the physical store?
If a customer was rewarded loyalty points for his purchase giving him a discount, why shouldn’t this discount be available in all channels? Why does many companies have a process to print a discount coupon on paper to send to the customer, but without this paper the discount cannot be applied in the store, and in the online store it cannot be applied at all.
Solving this problem might actually not be costly but the opposite, for many organizations this would actually be a cost saving to implement.
With our experience we can help you merge your entire sales flow and unite your channels in as many ways possible.
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