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The New Sales Challenges of Responsive Sites

Understanding the online marketing challenges that are unique to selling your products or services on a responsive site is something that we deal with regularly with our clients. This article examines the two conceptual shifts that must be made to generate a successful responsive design for your site.

Over the past few years we have increasingly been working with our clients to help them think “responsive” or, where required, to help them rebuild their websites for mobile. I say rebuild as so many sites were not built with mobile in mind and, due to the over-engineered and over-complex nature of many sites today, we often have to think in terms of starting the design from scratch.

Whichever option is decided upon, it is important to understand the parameters of this process and what the issues are that need to be discussed from a marketing and salesmanship point of view when it comes to viewing your website on smart phones.

The main issues come down to two main challenges:

Frank Orman explains the 2 conceptual shifts necessary for a successful #responsive #webdesign. Click To Tweet

Challenge Number One: Mobiles are Smaller

While this sounds like a very obvious statement, it is not that obvious when thinking responsive.

On the desktop version of your website we generally have lots of space for texts, multiple images, video galleries, testimonials etc. If we have pre-planned our salesmanship concept and layouts before the graphic stage, we can think in terms of positioning different types of content in both vertical and horizontal layouts. So, for example, alongside a product we can have a big price and, alongside that, we could have a testimonial.

However, with mobile, we have a lot less space and so we generally have to think vertically. That is why most responsive sites seem like long piles of vertically-placed content.

This is not a bad thing, and there is even some discussion about whether we should design desktop sites with this vertical thinking in mind. After all, it forces us as salespeople to simplify everything so much more for our readers – something which could represent a much easier read for our customers and result in higher sales metrics.

Challenge Number Two: The Mobile Experience is Lightning Fast

By the very nature of where and when people use their mobile phones to browse the internet versus their desktops at home or at the office, the mobile experience is so much quicker. Users flit from one screen to the next, from browser to calendar, from phone to text – all at lightning speed. We seem to be able to do everything at once while commuting to work, while watching TV, while listening to a lecture or while chatting to friends.

The New Quick Speak and Vertical Stack of Responsive

As a result of having less time to present our case to potential customers on mobile, we need to provide our best messaging in much quicker, sound-bite format and in super quick time before our potential customer starts doing something else.

This implies being much stricter with sales clutter and being more ruthless as copy editors so that only the most important salesmanship is presented – and only in very concise bundles.

As a result of having less physical space to house our messages and of needing to stack content vertically, the challenge here is to decide the order of salesmanship.

A simple example that always comes up and that each marketing team will probably answer differently is that of text versus images. Should the text come first, followed by the images or should the headline text come first, then a main image, then some text expansion, then more images or should it be testimonial first? And in all this, where should the call to action be?

Quick Speak and Vertical Stack: two of the essentials of #responsive #webdesign. Click To Tweet

It’s the Marketing Manager’s Call

There are so many combinations and considerations and there is no clear right or wrong.

Which is why I keep stressing to my clients that these discussions need to happen with marketing input, not technical input.

And as they will (and should) fundamentally affect the graphic design of the site and possibly development issues too, these important decisions need to be made well in advance of any design or development work.

Need Advice about Responsive Websites?

If you are looking to build a new website or searching for ways of making your website more mobile friendly, please do contact me. I will be happy to give you the advice that you need and help you take advantage of the opportunities that mobile and responsive websites can offer you.


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