What is Responsive Design?

Definition: Responsive design is a website design strategy that ensures your online store experience automatically optimizes for the device your visitor is using to view it. When you open a responsive website, the content on the page adjusts to the screen size, making sure your online store experience is consistent across devices while simultaneously ensuring the best browsing experience for that device.

Why do online stores need responsive design?

Many websites are designed for a desktop browsing experience. Unfortunately, desktop-first websites usually show up with small page elements on mobile devices, forcing people to zoom in on the page and search heavily for elements like buttons, links, or other calls-to-action. These kinds of websites just aren’t designed for clumsy fingers to use on phones.

Before responsive design, forward-thinking websites would build separate experiences for different screens. Though this is still a viable option, it takes a lot of resources to build three separate websites for desktops, tablets, and phones. Responsive design takes the heavy-lifting out of the process, ensuring that a single design works for every platform.

Online stores need responsive design to stay competitive. Without a responsive website, you run the risk of losing customers on platforms your site isn’t optimized for. If your store is responsive, you’ll greatly increase the chances of making the sale, no matter which device your customer uses.

How does responsive design work?

Responsive design is built on flexibility. It adjusts for screen resolution while ensuring a quick change from portrait to landscape layout (as happens when you flip your phone sideways). Fluid grids reorganize page elements as your browser window gets smaller or bigger. Fluid images change size so that they aren’t overwhelmingly large on small screens or too small on big screens.

You can also show or hide content on the page based on screen size. This is a huge advantage for catering to different browsers. Desktop users can usually handle a lot of content on the screen. But when you load the page on your phone, your store should prioritize the most important content for getting your shopper from browsing to buying.

How do you make your online store responsive?

That depends on your budget. Most ecommerce platforms let you choose from a number of different design templates, many of which are built responsively. If you have budget and you want a fully unique website, you’ll need to hire a web designer/developer to build the page for you.

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