Responsive Design for Furniture Retailers: Part II

February 3, 2015

Last week we dove into the topic of responsive design – what it is, how it works and why it’s so important for today’s online shopping experience. In Part II of this post, we round up four tips on responsive design from some of our ecommerce experts.

Best practices of responsive design in furniture

Tip #1: Really Get to Know Your Customers

Before you do anything, dig into your data and analytics to get to know your shoppers and their needs. Consider things like how are they getting to your site? What device(s) are they viewing it on? What interactions take place most often on each device? The more information you have, the better you can cater the responsive experience.

Tip #2: Be Engaged and Ask Questions

As we’ve discussed, responsive design has been around for several years. Whether you build your responsive site yourself or use an outside agency, make sure you (or they) know what you’re doing and ask the right questions throughout the design and creation process. Questions like, how will it look on a smartphone? A tablet? And, what will happen to certain features, like zoom, and calls-to-action, like the “add to cart” button on touchscreens? You want to take into account the potential business impact of every part of the browsing and shopping experience for the customer.

Tip #3: Avoid Sacrificing Page Load Times With Extraneous Content

All of the content that lives on your site takes up space and impacts site performance. When redesigning your website to be responsive, make sure your marketing, design and development teams work together to weigh the importance and priority of your content so as not to negatively impact performance, deliver the best end-to-end experience for your shoppers and drive the most sales.

Tip #4: Make All Images Readable and Optimized

Responsive images are one of the three key components of what makes up a responsive-designed website. But it’s also the area that is most troublesome for retailers. Here are two rules of thumb to follow to get the most out of responsive images:

  1. Make all images readable
    Making banners and promotional page elements readable for mobile invites the user to follow important calls-to-action and prevents user frustration. Increase the size of the type, keeping it at 14px or higher while maintaining hierarchy of the value proposition and call-to-action. Increase the image height to 300px or 350px to allow more real estate for the message (keep the width at 600px).
  2. Optimize all images to decrease page load time
    Image optimization tools such as Kraken, which remove excess data and compress images without affecting quality, help improve page load speed. Regardless of what tool you use, audit your image files and make changes accordingly before uploading them to your website content management system.

While there are many more tips we can share on responsive design, these are just a start. What it all boils down to is that responsive design allows for multiple benefits, including:

  • A single code base for your product – saves you time, money, hassle and your customer can trust that they are getting a consistent experience no matter the viewing device
  • Helps with SEO – Search engines like Google are starting to take the mobile experience into account when ranking each site, so a responsive site will rank higher in search results
  • Provides the best customer experience
  • Gives you a competitive market advantage – shoppers will be more likely to return to your website knowing it’s an easy and convenient experience

Thinking about redesigning your furniture retail website to be fully responsive? Or upgrading your site to be more ecommerce-enabled? Blueport offers the only platform catered to furniture’s unique requirements. Learn more about it here or contact us.