In the past, the mobile experience for e-commerce sites relied on the use of separate mobile sites. These mobile sites were essentially sites that tried to recreate the experience of the desktop site, while giving a smaller, faster, and (hopefully) easier to navigate interface. When responsive design was first coming on to the scene, people had to really consider the pros and cons of a responsive site vs mobile site. The costs and performance limitations that were associated with responsive design were quickly overcome and it has since emerged as the preferred choice for the mobile web experience. In fact, the mobile site has largely fallen by the wayside, even among e-commerce sites. Let’s look more closely at why a mobile site is no longer a reasonable option for an e-commerce site.
A Responsive Site Is Better For SEO
If you’ve ever noticed that the address of a site that you visited on your mobile device looked like “m.sitename.com,” this is because you were redirected to a mobile site. The fact that a mobile site is a completely different URL is not good for SEO purposes. Google advocates using a responsive site vs mobile site for ease of user interaction, as well as making it easier for “Google’s algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content.” If ranking well in Google is a priority for your e-commerce site (and it should be a priority), a responsive site is the right choice.
Responsive Design Is Easier
A few years ago, e-commerce sites were largely serving mobile users with separate sites and responsive site vs mobile site was a new up and coming solution. At first, the concept of creating an e-commerce site that could change to work on any screen using CSS seemed like an overwhelming proposal. These days, the thought of creating a separate site to handle your mobile traffic is by far the more unthinkable option. There have been many advances in the practices and techniques that we can use to deliver awesome and responsive websites. These days, there are also many tools and frameworks that streamline the process all the way through development.
It’s Less Hassle To Maintain A Responsive Site
In the initial responsive site vs mobile site debate, the mobile site held its place in many cases because of the costs of redesigning an entire site to be responsive. With the implementation of a responsive site, these initial costs will be recovered over time by not having to update and maintain two separate sites. Part of the nightmare of a mobile site is that any changes in content to a site, must be made in two separate places. This is an unnecessary hassle that responsive design has eliminated.
Responsive Sites Offer A Better Experience For Your Visitors
Your site’s users will benefit greatly from the adoption of a responsive site vs mobile site. The ability to deliver a site that is optimised for a screen size benefits users of nearly any device, mobile or not. For an e-commerce site, keeping the look and feel of a site across every platform is especially important. Things like calls-to-action, navigation, and search functionality are very important to an e-commerce site and the ability to keep their look and feel across the entire span of screen sizes is very beneficial.
Incorporating responsive design into your e-commerce site is the right choice for SEO, user experience, long-term cost, and many other reasons. With the last of the late adopters of a responsive site vs mobile site are finally coming to terms with the benefits of a responsive site, the days of separate e-commerce mobile sites are numbered.