The Importance of Mobile Responsiveness

As more and more web traffic is accessed on mobile platforms, UX and responsiveness become ever-more important.

Ofcom’s 2014 report showed us that 52% of internet access was through mobile platforms, with just 46% coming through fixed devices such as desktops and laptops. 2014 was a big year – marking the moment mobile use overtook that of desktops for accessing the internet.

Times are a-changing, and to look to the future, we can see just how important it is to have a website that not only provides a smooth user experience on a desktop, but that also translates into a responsive and smart mobile site. Mobile responsiveness is key to growing an online presence, just as much as an unresponsive mobile site can be extremely off-putting to potential customers.

This move to mobile is essential for businesses new and old to stay relevant and to draw in customers. By providing services over a broad range of platforms, companies can achieve omnichannel marketing,meaning mobile access acts as a bridge between a company’s online and offline services. This in effect allows customers continuous contact with a company, vastly improving their experience whilst using or purchasing their products.

Mobile responsiveness is especially crucial in the world of e-commerce, with mobile platforms accounting for 51%of retail purchases being made in late 2016. Amazon led this revolution with their one-click purchase option, allowing customers to zoom through the full process of browsing products, paying and selecting delivery with pre-set account options. Amazon’s patent runs out in September 2017, meaning other firms will likely implement a more customer friendly payment method which will boost mobile transactions even more.

Mexican street food chain Wahaca are already pioneering in this respect. Their QuickPay app allows customers to pay and split bills at the table in their own time, freeing up staff to focus on delivering excellent customer service.

As companies strive to create a responsive platform, the heat is on to gain more sales, meaning pressure tactics are often placed on sites. These can be even more unsettling than an unresponsive site in general, with gimmicks such as countdowns placed on purchase pages to stimulate a quicker sale. Subscription sign-ups are also pushed over one-off purchases, placed to create an artificial sense of customer loyalty but in reality causing clogged mailboxes 

A further issue is of privacy – again the question arises of where company’s draw the line between privacy and personalisation, as in order to provide an effortless user experience, a huge amount of data has to be collected about the customer, from preferences through to card details. This has the potential to drive customers away, however millennials seem to trust their devices with their lives by using apps such as Apple Pay and Uber without question.

Striking this balance is a massive task, showing that using a well experienced agency is key to creating a safe and slick UX. Internet access is changing rapidly and company’s face missing out on a huge proportion of the market from bad mobile responsiveness.

As internet access changes, the issue becomes ever more important to solve as a non-responsive mobile site could see company’s missing out on a huge proportion of the market.

So the real question is, what’s next? Click-to-buy could soon be replaced by blink-to-buy, payment could be accepted through retina scans, or even a virtual shelf to pick items off and place into a virtual basket 

Written by Andrew Thomson & Emily Hale 

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