Mobile’s role in internet and e-commerce is evolving and expanding. According to Shopify, more e-commerce traffic today comes from mobile devices than PCs. Those who shop via mobile also spend 66% more than shoppers who only buy in store. What does this mean for your existing or future e-commerce small business? It’s all about how your website responds.

Responsive vs. Mobile-Friendly Websites

Your business website and online store must be designed for mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, and everything in-between). You’ve probably heard the term mobile-friendly used a lot, but did you know that a responsive website is actually the best option?

A mobile-friendly site is one that’s been designed very simply. The elements are so straightforward and basic that they tend to appear correctly across all devices.

A responsive website is one that adjusts to fit the screen size that’s being used. This means elements and design will actually shift and change, based on the available space. E.g., a top navigation bar may become a drop-down menu or side-by-side images will stack vertically. It doesn’t matter if the customer uses an iPad or a Galaxy S, the site will look tailored to that particular screen.

Is Mobile Design Really THAT Important for E-Commerce Success?

Yes. It is. There are two main reasons why a mobile-friendly or responsive website is crucial to your business’s success online, especially when selling.

The first is the customer experience. If a person needs to scroll horizontally, search around the site for descriptions, or zoom in on images for a blurry result, they are not going to buy your products. If the cart’s buttons are small and cramped, your abandonment rate will skyrocket. E-commerce sites must function as easily on a Kindle Fire as they do on a desktop computer (do they still make those?). Otherwise, you’re risking more than half of your potential customers.

The second reason to consider mobile design is Google. Starting in 2015, the search giant adjusted their search rankings to deprecate any non-mobile friendly sites. Almost half of all non-mobile friendly sites in the Top 10 for a search query lost their rank, according to Sovrn. If you want existing and new customers to be able to find your business online, it must be mobile-ready.

Two Tools as a Takeaway

The first is Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” Test. This will look at your site and tell you whether or not Google considers it mobile. If not, you need to take action or risk a continual decline in rankings.

The second is Responsive Design Checker. This innovative tool will render your website across many different devices to give you a clear view of what customers see on popular hardware. Again, Google currently only requires a “mobile-friendly” site for search rankings, but your customer’s positive experience will depend on how it responds to a variety of devices.

If you’re already a Snap website member, you don’t need to worry. Your site and store are responsive and will pass these tests and your customer’s expectations!