Responsive Website Design - It’s Not Just for PhonesWeb Design & Development
Look out, PCs. Tablets have your number. According to technology research firm Gartner, tablet sales are projected to increase by 53.4% by the end of 2013, while traditional PC sales will decline by 11.2%. Add to this the recent statistics from Canalys that indicate that tablets will comprise half of all PCs shipped in 2014, and you’ve got a compelling picture of the future of mobile device usage. This means that website owners need to be proactive about understanding their audiences and determining how to get their site content in front of as many potential users as possible. It should come as no surprise that one of the most effective ways to do this is through responsive website design.
Why the Stats Matter
If you’re building or redesigning a website, these statistics offer some definite food for thought. Ensuring that your website will be an effective marketing tool for years to come means knowing your audience and how they are accessing your content. There are a couple of important points to consider here:
- Mobile doesn’t just mean phones. The terms “mobile traffic” and “mobile design” can sometimes be misleading, but remember—a tablet is a mobile device, too. And mobile doesn’t necessarily mean on the go, either. According to a survey from Google’s AdMob, 82% of people use their tablets while at home. It’s also important to note that many people use their tablets while watching TV, and the activities they perform run the gamut from surfing the web to purchasing products. These activities are generally performed at higher rates on tablets than they are on smartphones.
- Responsive website design doesn’t just mean phones. We’ve talked about the benefits of responsive website design before, but they bear repeating. When your website utilizes responsive design, it will adapt to the screen size of any device, whether it’s a phone or a tablet. And that’s not just the devices that exist today, either. It’s any device that might be released in the future. With rumors that Samsung is set to release four new tablet devices in 2014, this is pretty powerful stuff.
Don’t Ignore Your Tablet Visitors
Recently, stories have been emerging about sites that have gone responsive and have seen big returns in tablet traffic and conversions. Walmart Canada’s new responsive website was designed with a tablet-first approach, a departure from the traditional mobile-first approach, which advocates beginning with smartphone design. Taking into consideration the amount of tablet traffic its site was getting and the conversion rate for e-commerce sites on tablets, Walmart Canada was able to design a website that increased conversions within this segment by 20%.
Another success story comes from online jewelry retailer Blue Nile, who recently unveiled a new responsive site and increased tablet traffic to product detail pages by 10% and smartphone traffic to diamond detail pages by 5%. It’s also worth noting that Blue Nile’s tablet traffic had increased from 35% in 2012 to 45% halfway through 2013—more proof that tablet use is rising and shouldn’t be ignored.
Summing it Up
In short, it’s smart to plan for your future tablet visitors now. If the statistics from Canalys are correct, it’s possible that more people will own tablets than laptop or desktop PCs within the next few years. You might not have a lot of tablet traffic heading to your site right now, but that number is likely to go up sooner rather than later. You can save yourself a lot of time, frustration, and money by utilizing responsive website design to create a site that will be useful to all visitors, whether they arrive via their desktop or the brand new tablet that just arrived in the mail.