E-commerce customers are finding that a record share of their customers are accessing sites from their smartphones. And so in many ways, responsive design has become a business’s most valuable asset.

The power of the digital world is the power of convenience. For most consumers, reaching into your pocket and accessing the internet from your smartphone is more efficient than powering up a laptop. And for businesses, this captive audience has become more valuable than ever before, as Marketing Land reports.

The trick to accessing this market is to think small — many companies have optimized their websites through new, responsive designs that allow a site to be presented seamlessly on any sized screen, at any resolution.

This means a homescreen looks stunning on your smartphone, but it also translates to web portals, contact pages, and especially purchasing menus.

A Digital Slide Rule

However, this trend has not unfolded without its backlash. For one, redesigning an entire responsive website can be costly for any business — especially if the design isn’t performed with future trends in mind.

This has left some feeling lacking confidence about a favorable return on investment. Moreover, any redesign potentially gambles with an already effective site layout.

But these concerns are in large part misguided — as long as the implementation is handled correctly, of course. With so many users rushing to purchase products via smartphone, anything short of actively engaging their digital needs is an imprudent business decision.

Indeed, users are 67% more likely to make purchases from an e-commerce site if it’s optimized for mobile use.

After browsing on their phone, users may even end up purchasing an item from their laptop — but the 48% percent of customers who view a poorly-configured mobile site as a serious lack of interest in their business won’t likely return that second time.

Google agrees. Its recent search algorithm update, heralded as “Mobilegeddon,” has changed the landscape in a way that has mobile-friendly sites heavily favored in mobile searches, according to Business 2 Community.

Redressing for Success

The fact is that the old method — designing different sites for different platforms at the risk of a less than seamless experience — is no longer practical.

The range of available mobile devices has grown too wide to support these kind of efforts, and with every new version of your site comes new opportunities for failure, higher risk of incompatibility, and more time spent coding.

Perhaps responsive web design was once the more time-intensive solution, but as development teams become spread thin, that doesn’t appear to be the case any longer.

While many businesses have built successful platforms surrounding an online sales experience, the ways in which those venues are accessed have transformed dramatically.

With every alteration in the way customers behave and consume, businesses must also change forms to adapt to those trends — with equal force. But this is a majorly positive step: as e-commerce websites become more fluid, their flexibility to adopt new and more varied strategies will only increase.