Initially, when the users were more focussed on the desktop web, mobile designs were not given much consideration. Eventually, the changing digital landscape and increasing use of mobiles and tablets compelled organizations to plan their UX design and development strategy keeping mobile users in mind. That’s how; the mobile-first approach turned up.
The mobile-first approach means that the website must be designed taking into account the online experience of mobile users before designing it for desktop users. In other words, mobile-first websites are designed for mobile devices and then the layout is adapted to fit the desktop and tablet devices.
As mobile is taking over the world, the mobile-first approach has become a buzzword and need of the hour for creating a consistent user experience across all devices.
Often the terms “mobile responsive” and “mobile-first” are used interchangeably, but, as a matter of fact, they are not the same. However, both are related to website design.
In mobile responsive design, you are not required to create separate websites for desktop and mobile devices. The website is designed keeping desktop users in consideration. The content, design, and user interface of the website get automatically adjusted to fit the user’s screen.
In mobile-first design, the website is initially created with all the essential elements for mobile devices. Elements that do not translate well to mobile devices such as animations and hover effects are eliminated. Additional features and content are added to enhance the website for screens of larger devices (desktops and laptops).
In a nutshell, the mobile-first design uses the essential elements of the website for faster and easier navigation on mobile devices. On the other hand, a mobile responsive design means all the elements of the website are adjusted to fit the screen size of the mobile device.
The mobile-first approach is crucial for all organizations across various industries due to the increasing use of mobile devices for browsing the website. According to the statistics of statista, in 2018, mobile phones generated 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide which is 1.9% up from 2017.
The importance of mobile-first strategy, particularly for eCommerce industry, is apparent from the fact that by 2021, the total mobile eCommerce sales will reach 3.56 trillion U.S. dollars that will comprise 72.9% of total retail eCommerce sales (according to statista).
A mobile-first approach for eCommerce includes:
Some good reasons to include the mobile-first approach in your eCommerce business are:
Mobile-first websites are given priority in search rankings by Google search algorithm. Mobile-first indexing takes page speed and mobile content as significant ranking factors. Thus, the lesser the page load time and better the content, the higher are the chances of your website to appear in search engine result pages.
Websites built with a mobile-first approach provides users with a streamlined and enriched experience which, in turn, helps them build a better opinion and credibility for your business. This approach lets organizations display the most prominent content to the targeted users.
A well-crafted and user-centric mobile-first website increase your click-through and conversion rates. Moreover, mobile-first websites consume less data, thus saving you space and bandwidth while providing a pleasant shopping experience to your customers.
M-commerce has skyrocketed over the past couple of years and this trend is expected to continue in the upcoming years. Therefore, adoption of the mobile-first approach in your business processes will be a winning strategy and help you stay ahead of the competition.
The number of smartphone users in the world by 2019 is expected to cross 5 billion. Besides, users tend to spend more time on mobile than desktops. So, a huge shift from desktop-first design to mobile-first design is likely to become the biggest tech trend. Furthermore, new technologies such as chatbots, artificial intelligence, etc., will bring changes in the functionalities of devices, bringing more avenues for eCommerce retailers.
If you are also planning to implement the mobile-first strategy in your business, seek expert consultation from an experienced web design and development company.