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Responsive Design in Online Retail

Posted on 12.17.2014

Mobile devices are driving holiday sales this year, with IBM data revealing that online traffic from mobile outpaced PCs on Thanksgiving Day for the very first time.

To cash in on some of this traffic, it is important for retailers to have a mobile optimized website. In 2014, one of the most popular ways to offer a mobile-optimized site was by implementing a responsive interface. Not only is responsive design Google’s recommended configuration, but it also provides consumers with a familiar experience regardless of the device being leveraged to access the site (desktop, tablet, smartphone).

Although responsive design may not be the right choice for all retailers (Read Website Magazine’s “Head-to-Head Web Design Responsive Vs. Adaptive”), it is a good option for those who are looking to establish a consistent website experience across screens. Read below to discover five retailers who have already committed to responsive design:


Burton is an example of a retailer with a fairly large inventory that has implemented responsive design. In doing so, customers receive a consistent experience regardless of the device they use to browse. In addition to responsive design, Burton is putting an emphasis on holiday conversions by  featuring a banner at the top of its site that alerts visitors of shipping deadlines so they can receive orders before Christmas.




Carter’s is one of the only top retailers to offer a responsive site according to a 2013 report from The Search Agency. The children’s apparel retailer does a good job at not only providing a consistent experience to both mobile and desktop visitors, but also at incentivizing visitors to shop. This is because Carter’s offers a 25 percent off coupon code at the top of its site as well as promotes its 70 percent off sale with a variety of calls-to-action to make it easy for consumers to navigate to the right area of the site quickly.



Mentholatum Ointment

Mentholatum is a health and wellness company with a responsive website, which was designed by Georgia-based Web design firm The Creative Moment. While Mentholatum doesn’t sell products directly to consumers on its site like the aforementioned retailers, the company does offer product pages that provide consumers with important information about its inventory, as well as provides a “Where to Buy” page that directs consumers to websites where they can purchase its products.



Skinny Ties

Skinny Ties is an early adopter of responsive design, as the company initially unveiled its responsive site (designed by Gravity Department) back in 2012. Immediately after the design change, Skinny Ties saw an improvement in conversions (71.9 percent increase on iPhones) and a 23.2 percent decrease in bounce rate.




Starbucks puts an emphasis on mobile by not only offering a website that adjusts to the specific screen size of each individual user, but also by encouraging mobile users to download the company’s app upon their arrival at



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