Jun 2014

Making the Case against Responsive Design Websites

As a business owner it is always a challenge to balance cost, investment and returns.

The case to hang on to your cash and spend as little of it as possible is a highly compelling one, especially in a recession where the uncertainty of return is at its most acute.

If you have a business, you will possibly have a website. Whether you use it effectively or not depends on

  • The understanding you have for what digital marketing and your web presence can do for your business.
  • The site itself and whether it is technically able to recruit and deliver converted ‘visitors’.

Investing in a website for the future: Is Responsive Design right for your business?

A website is going to cost your business money. The amount can vary greatly depending on what you want your website to do, what functionality is required to achieve that, what design look and feel you would like, how unique you want it to be and what compatibility you would like your site to have.

You should judge the investment against the likely returns

  • How many visitors are you likely to get to your website?
  • How will you get them there- word of mouth, search (Google,Yahoo), Advertising (traditional or digital e.g. Google Adwords)
  • What is the average value of each new customer to your business over 1 year, over 3 years?
  • How many visitors to your site do you think you will need before you get one to buy- also called your conversion rate- eg 1 in 2, 1 in 3,  1 in 10 etc?

So let’s say each new converted visitor to your business brings €100 per year.

If you can convert 1 in every 10, then to have a website for €5000 you will need 50 conversions from 500 visitors in year 1 to break even. In year 2 and 3 if you look after them, and your competitors are not offering a better experience, then they may comeback, as we know this involves work and nothing is guaranteed.

Using Google Analytics to make the case for PC only v’s responsive design

From the analytics, if your website is being accessed by PC only, then you do not need a responsive design site. However we have not seen one site that fits this description. The fact is that on average 33% of your potential market will access your site over the coming year via mobile device.

If your site is built using webshop responsive design, the mobile audience will convert at much the same rate as the PC audience.

In conclusion if an investment of circa €5000 is too much at this moment , then go with a good PC based site only ,keep an eye on the analytics, how it is being accessed and rebuild it in 2 years when you can afford to do so to a responsive design site. This approach is more expensive in the long run but might just suit your cash flow.

Alternatively if the market is there for your product or service then driving the numbers through a responsive design site, could be a better long term investment.