Is it important to have a responsive website for my online store?

Is it important to have a responsive website for my online store?

How many of your visitors are using a mobile device? If it is a lot, then yes, yes it is.

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Actually, with one of Google’s latest decisions, it is very important to have a site that is mobile-friendly - they get preference to being listed before sites that are NOT mobile-friendly.



*only applicable if you are on a device, such as a mobile phone or tablet (something that needs a responsive layout)

I would never put money towards making something responsive if my target users are not using said devices. That would be an utter waste of time and money. Would I do it eventually? Yes, most likely, but would I make it a priority? No.

Unless there is a good portion of my audience using mobile, I’d have little reason to go back and make my site responsive for those devices.



Amazon seem to be doing quite well and I don’t think their site is responsive?

If you have Google Analytics installed they give a breakdown of platforms:

i just copied these results from one of my sites:

12.37% - tablet
52.91% - mobile
34.72% - desktop

I have a few websites, with very different audiences.
Online shop selling tools for workmen is over 50% mobile.
A directory for b&b accommodation is less than 20%.
How important it is depends how much you are ‘annoying’ your targetted audience.

And don’t Amazon have an App? Most mobile users would be using that - so a nice mobile-friendly website is less important.

That’s a nice pipe dream.

Doesn’t the amazon app ship with an iphone? I have a friend who thinks the only online shops are amazon and ebay, cos that’s all that’s on her phone!

Yes, it is important. Sites should be responsive.

These mobile sites are completely separate from their larger desktop siblings and have reduced functionality and content. This toned down version means users are only able to load and use the very basic of site content and functionality, and ultimately miss out on the information they may be expecting to find.

Post edited by TechnoBear to format and attribute quoted content

In my experience (limited) it is much easier to create a site as responsive from the start, than to make one non-responsive, then convert it to responsive later.

No, their site is not responsive, but as well as the mobile app they do have a separate mobile version of the site, which I may add is quite poor compared to the full-fat one.
But they are big enough to get away with that. If your on-line store is not as big as Amazon, you need to cater for mobile shoppers, I believe they are a large part of that market.

You know the answer here.

Most people must be planning accommodation before leaving home. But you would think there would be scope for people looking for it while on the road.

@John_Betong rightly mentioned Analytics, as well as the numbers and proportion, look at bounce rate and conversions for mobile.

That’s not a true responsive site. RWD uses just one site for any device, css handles changes in layout and possibly content dependant on the view size.

That is exactly what happens with the Amazon mobile site I mentioned. not long ago I was searching the internet on my laptop at home for info on a particular subject, on behalf of a friend (who is not into computers) In my search I came across a book on Amazon, looked at the page, read the synopsis and thought: He needs to get this book. When I saw him later, in the pub and tell him about this book I found, I only have my mobile on me. I searched and found the book again on Amazon, but could not find the synopsis anywhere on the page. Very poor. In the end, someone ordered it for him from Ebay.
To answer the OP: Yes.

Except, his initial post seems to imply he already has an online store, thus a non-responsive one already exists. :smile:

So although, I agree, I don’t see any benefit if you have a site and most of your users are using physical laptops/desktops/whatever (anything but mobile) for accessing your site.

To be honest, the only difficulty of taking a non-responsive website into a responsive version is that you probably didn’t code it initially so working your way around the code might take you a bit longer than usual. So I disagree with Sam with his intiial statement.

And to that, web developer tools really will simplify it. The act of making a website responsive really wouldn’t be any much more effort than doing it from the get-go. For me, generally, I do the entire desktop version first, and then make it responsive. Ultimately I’d just need to make it responsive like I would any other page.

I disagree with Sam when he says it’s much easier to make it responsive from the get-go. A blanket statement like that just cannot be true for everyone. It’s faster for me if I code everything at once and then do debugging / responsive. I don’t particularly like stopping every section to see how it goes. That’s slow.

tl;dr - The only slow part is from you not knowing the code; making it responsive isn’t going to be slower.


But what’s the chance of that? Even if your mobile is at 20% (an extremely low figure from the average) that’s basically you throwing them away. You try explaining to your client why the mobile bounce rate is ridiculously high. I bet they’ll want it responsive even for 5% of users.

Benefit vs Cost. If the cost to build it plus the cost it takes to retain a customer is not going to be recouped quickly, you are wasting more money into building it, than it is of use

Obviously this is a general statement, but turning an existing website into something responsive would likely not take more than … guessing…a week? TOPS? More likely 2-3 days.

That depends on a lot. I was sitting here trying to think how long it would take me to make a shopping website responsive, but without knowing the size, it’s impossible to guess. It wouldn’t take long. All the hard work is done. TBH the most work would be getting a hamburger menu. Other than that, you’re just finding what media queries to use. Pretty simple stuff TBH. A couple days tops?

I just would find it REALLY hard to believe it would be a bad idea to make a website resposnive. I wish the OP would return with some information about his demographics / what he sells / how many use mobile/tablet / how much he sells. I’d say a non-responsive website is an exception, most definitely not the rule.


If you are creating the desktop site with the intention of making it responsive, then yes, its maybe not a big deal, as you will have that in the back of your mind and make provision. I was thinking more of old-style sites that were created in complete ignorance of RWD. Though when I did do that, it was my first venture into RWD, so did struggle more than I maybe would now.
The next site I converted to RWD I did re-build from scratch in html5 and css3, but keeping the same content and layout. That was one originally made by someone else some years ago and I don’t regret taking that approach on that occasion. As well as up-dating and cleaning-up general code, a lot of the “working” parts had to be structured quite differently to function in a RWD.

[quote=“SamA74, post:16, topic:197731”]
I was thinking more of old-style sites that were created in complete ignorance of RWD.
[/quote]It still wouldn’t be difficult. Remove 95% of widths on anything BUT containers. Possibly change containers if they have fixed widths. Write media queries.

Having that thought in your head will help yes, but by no means does it make it any more difficult. You just need to undo some things. By no means is it difficult. Just go through the CSS files and remove crap.

What if the output has a lot of invalid markup, lots of hard-coded styles (not in templates, but by actual code output), etc.

Example, our flagship product took 8 months. We are now RWD, fully accessible, support all browsers, etc. But it was 8 grueling months.

Hard coded styles are pretty irrelevant. They can pose an issue if actual layout techniques are embedded inline, but ultimately it’s easy to override. If a page was so f***ed up like that, then I’d have no problem !important’ing it since I’m not really making that code base any worse.

As far as the invalid markup, it really depends. I mean as long as structurally the page isn’t invalid, then we are all fine (and TBH it should be since the initial page is actually working), so I sorta consider that invalid markup a moot point as well, considering invalid markup won’t be a detriment to restructuring columns, etc.

Shouldn’t be a big difference.

Rough. Must have been a huge product.

Our very well may be. Over 30,000 files with over 5.35 GB of data, just from a development standpoint. And that is only half the project…