Generally speaking, any business website can benefit from responsive web design (RWD) because Google likes RWD. Internet 101: If Google likes it, you do too!
2013 was declared “the year of responsive web design” in our industry, yet not that many websites were found to be responsive at the end of the year. Experts are predicting that most websites will be responsive by the end of 2014. Does that leave you behind the curve? Are your competitors leading the way or are you?
Besides better traffic and keeping your competitive edge, there could be additional reasons why your business might benefit even more from RWD than others.
Suppose you are traveling, either near or far from home, and you want to find a good place to have dinner. Would you be more apt to choose an establishment whose responsive website comes up quickly on your smart phone, where you can scroll and navigate without a mouse, and even make your reservation or order take-out online? Or would you prefer having to fumble with your phone, trying to figure out how to get around the site as you scroll from side to side, having difficulty clicking on things? I’d think if you are in the restaurant business or a similar service industry, you would choose the responsive restaurant.
As the economy comes around, prospective home buyers are literally out looking and will have their smart phones and tablets with them. The responsive websites that show photos in the best size for their devices and that make searching inventories easy are the ones that will be bookmarked.
Technicians in the field can now access parts lists and installation guides on many sized screens and devices. A responsive website that contains libraries of information will mean better efficiency in locating and using the materials it provides over a klunky, non-responsive site.
An online store that is not built with RWD programming is already in a hole. People’s shopping habits have shifted to online sales and so have revenues for B2C businesses. Odds are that, if you’ve had an online retail store for more than a year or two, it is generating significant revenue. As online sales shift even more toward mobile devices, is your store ready for it? Some in the marketing world suggest that if not your store won’t last!
One example of a responsive online store is Otto Environmental, serving the animal enrichment and equipment world. One of their customers, say a zookeeper, might create an order for toys for each animal under his or her care as they roam the zoo grounds.
In short, it’s up to an individual business to determine if responsive web design might be the differentiating factor between their online presence and their competitors’ in their particular field.
Today’s trends say it will be for all websites in the very near future.