But implementing this concept is easier said than done. To communicate your message in a highly competitive environment is a problem that most e-commerce directors across the UK will be busily working out how to get ahead of the game.
In the past, the largest surges of traffic would be seen on a Monday morning, when customers would look for the best deals online, having researched their potential purchase over the weekend. This is no longer the case.
The advent of smart devices has meant that browsing online is no longer an anti-social thing to do at home as you are no longer confined to the single PC in a home office. Families can now surf on the sofa and it has become a more collaborative experience. It means that potential customers can play a greater part for online businesses, as customers are far more likely to be able to search online as soon as they see an advert.
The browsing stage starts on the high street, or when the user is on the go. It’s in response to something they’ve seen in a shop or on a billboard and they’ll often start browsing on their mobile devices to compare prices or to drill for more product information. It’s at this point that a potential new customer interacts with your business and this is where the all important customer experience begins.
This is where responsive web design will begin to play a pivotal role. As the customer browses your website across all devices, what can matter the most to the conversion is consistency. A responsive web design changes the layout of the page and the images to format on any screen size, ensuring that the customer experience is a consistent one. Over the coming years, retaining customers as they jump from device to device along their journey to purchase, will be where retailers will win or lose.
There is no doubt that the use of mobiles phones and tablets in retailing represents a paradigm shift in user behaviour and all retailers whether focussed online or offline need to find their own solution on to cope with it.
Chris Thomas is managing director of Cloggs
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