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Responsive Design Or Adaptive Delivery

  • Written By Javier
  • Posted December 23, 2013
  • 2 minutes Read Time

Have you heard of responsive design and adaptive delivery? Let’s define those terms before we look at which makes the better choice for Magento sellers.

Responsive design is HTML code that takes the fabulous, all-singing, all-dancing content of your full-size eCommerce website and adjusts it to fit with the smaller dimensions and reduced functionality of smaller screens such as smartphones. In theory, responsive design is really impressive, but in practice, it can be very slow on mobile devices. When you remember that a quarter of people regularly abandon a page that takes more than about four seconds to load – often never revisiting that Magento site – that means the slowness of responsive design can make the difference between a sales conversion and a potential customer who’s lost forever. However proud you might be of your desktop site content, increasing numbers of customers now shop via handheld devices, so speed on mobile platforms is a big consideration.

Now let’s look at adaptive delivery. This is becoming increasingly popular to improve user experience and increase eCommerce conversion rates. With adaptive delivery, it’s the host server that decides what code is sent to the device detected. The server makes key decisions based on the capability of the mobile device and the user, and with that information, it sends a much more streamlined and optimised design, which speeds up the page loading by providing only what the device can cope with receiving. Another major benefit of adaptive delivery is that it doesn’t require a full-scale redesign of your Magento web content. This is especially useful if you have a complex site that has taken a while to develop.

Whether responsive design or adaptive delivery is better, in general, it depends very much on what you need a website to achieve, but as an eCommerce seller, conversions are your big priority. With this in mind, adaptive delivery makes far better sense.