August 6th, 2013 | 2 MIN READ

How To Succeed at Responsive Design Without Really Trying

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Last post we examined the pros and cons of responsive design for ecommerce. One of the biggest hindrances for websites embracing responsive is the time and effort it takes to get it done, and the risk of the unknown ROI the project carries.

While a full replatforming of your front-end may be time and cost prohibitive for your ecommerce team today, there are dip-your-toe projects you can explore to get a feel for the effort involved and the results you can achieve by going responsive.


Rather than contend with an entire site, beginning with email gives you the opportunity to play with responsive with less time and money on the line, allowing you to work out the learning curve on a smaller project.

With email, it's far easier to conduct an A/B test and measure revenue and conversion improvement.

If you're an avid reader of Get Elastic, you'll recall we posted 24 tips for responsive email design several weeks ago.

Tablet site

Responsive doesn't have to be all or nothing, you can keep your site and use responsive as your tablet solution, instead of investing in a domain. 63% of mobile commerce revenue comes from tablets, so tablet optimization should not be an afterthought. Don't take it for granted that iPad and its cousins do a better-than-smartphone job of rendering desktop pages. Links, navigation, text and images can be quite unusable left as-is.

Microsite pilot is not responsive, but its sub-site The Cut was launched with responsive design, and serves as much as a pilot for testing responsive design as a destination for fashionistas.

NYMag believes responsive is cheaper than using server side adaptive, which serves multiple templates for multiple devices and relies on device detection, and plans on launching future sites this way.

While the above carry varying degrees of effort, they all enable you to "fail faster" -- or win -- without the commitment to a complete responsive overhaul of your web presence.

Our webinar Is Responsive Web Design Right for Your Business? is now available on-demand.

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