SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Trevor Parsons, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, Linux, Web 2.0

SOA & WOA: Article

One-Size-Fits-All Is the Key to E-Commerce Success

Responsive design, a relatively new concept, uses the same code while targeting different types of devices

The introduction of mobile devices rocked the e-Commerce world. Instead of knowing that potential customers would use a laptop or desktop, those running web-based stores had to begin to account for users with devices with screens of all sizes; from smartphones, to tablets, to full-size monitors. In addition, many of these devices lack keyboards or accurate cursor devices. As a result, many started creating second sites made for mobile devices. However, new techniques have supplanted this strategy, the most popular of which is responsive design.

One Size Truly Fits All
Responsive design, a relatively new concept, uses the same code while targeting different types of devices. Instead of letting the browser make all the decisions about how content will appear, the website itself sends hints and other information to make the website look better on the device accessing it. Thanks to JavaScript and other modern technologies, responsive design works quickly and can make the same content look great regardless of what type of device is accessing it.

Responsive Design Expanded
Responsive design is changing. In the past, it was viewed as a layout strategy; today, it is also viewed as a means of attracting a larger base of users. Using responsive design, it's now possible to send translated core content to different users, which makes targeting a wide audience simpler than ever before. It's also possible to update pricing information easily, which makes customers more likely to make a purchase. Those using mobile devices tend to have short attention spans, and these advanced techniques can lead to far better E-Commerce results.

Content Marketing Matters
While many were dealing with the influx of new types of devices, they failed to pay sufficient attention to content marketing, which has revolutionized search engine optimization and the art of reaching out to customers. Content marketing, paired with responsive design, allows those running E-Commerce sites to reach out to customers in a manner never before possible, and it has been repeatedly shown to lead to better results. All ecommerce sites need to begin to rely on content marketing.

Good Content Matters
In the past, any form of content added to your website would typically lead to better search results. These days, with the introduction of Google's Penguin and Panda algorithms, only good content is a viable solution. Poor, "thin" content can result in negative effects within organic search results.

Aside from search engine rankings, content builds and defines a company's brand image. An example of this is with videos. A rapidly-growing medium in terms of popularity for content publication, great videos result in visitors coming back for more, while poor videos leave users feeling like they've just wasted their time.

Before executing a content marketing initiative, E-Commerce webmasters need to take time to develop a long-term, sustainable plan. The results are well worth the effort required.

Conclusion
The Internet is changing rapidly, and those who are unable to keep up risk falling behind their competitors. Fortunately, this pressure is leading to better usability for consumers; and those who put in the necessary effort will find themselves in a better position than ever before. In addition, these new techniques are designed for the long haul, with an eye for the future. Content marketing, as a discipline, yields the brand awareness, authority, and equity that will serve E-Commerce websites for years, and responsive design enables that content strategy to reach all of its intended target audience. While the process of implementing these strategies may seem a bit demanding, the results make the efforts worthwhile.

More Stories By Drew Hendricks

Drew Hendricks is a writer, as well as a tech, social media and environmental enthusiast, living in San Francisco. He is a contributing writer at Forbes, Technorati and The Huffington Post.

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