More than any time in the Web's digital history, this holiday season will be one defined most greatly by the use of smartphones and tablets in the consumer shopping experience.
One of the main challenges for retailers today, and there are obviously many, is that 85 percent of consumers start shopping on one device but finish on another - and retailers are struggling to keep up, particularly when it comes to providing a consistent visual and interactive design experience. It's a big problem for retailers already challenged in giving consumers the confidence to buy.
A recent audit of retailer websites and emails by Bronto, which examined responsive and adaptive design trends among retailers, confirms just how big a problem it could be. Bronto examined how various mobile email clients, apps and operating systems display email messages and the findings, well, weren't exactly inspiring. Just 4 percent of retail websites used responsive design when viewed on a traditional computer and just 8 percent of emails from retailers used responsive design.
"The online audit clarified the fact that while responsive and adaptive designed sites and emails are becoming increasingly important for engaging shoppers, marketers need to remember there is no cure-all," said Jim Davidson, Bronto's manager of marketing research.
"Instead of blindly relying on one technique, retailers should first better understand which devices shoppers are using at various stages of the purchase path. Based on testing insights, retailers can make adjustments such as website adaptive design improvements or using responsive design in the mobile inbox to increase engagement and sales for multi-device customers."