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The Opportunity of Responsive Design

Paul Rogers works as a Senior Online Marketing Strategist for GPMD, a London-based web agency...

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by Paul Rogers

Posted 18 April 2012

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Paul Rogers works as a Senior Online Marketing Strategist for GPMD, a London-based web agency who are one of two UK SilverStripe partners. GPMD also organise and run the UK SilverStripe meetup event.

In February 2012, my colleagues Matt Bailey and Sveta Coward entered their theme designs (Sunrise & Tangerine) for the SilverStripe theme contest. Both themes were designed and built with responsive functionality, meaning they respond to different devices to provide a more user-friendly browsing experience.

The amount of people using their mobile phone to browse the web is increasing every day, with nearly 30% of all internet usage now coming from mobile devices.

More interesting mobile internet statistics:

  • On average, four Ferraris are sold every month via mobile phones
  • 52% of UK mobile phone users have a smartphone
  • 28% of UK mobile phone users have purchased something on their phone
  • 50% of flowers ordered online on Mother’s Day were from mobile devices
  • The number of Google searches from smartphones doubles every two months
  • In the UK, smartphone sales overtook PC sales last year
  • Nearly 20% of traffic in the travel industry is mobile (nearly doubled in the last 12 months)

These statistics are from a mobile marketing event I attended last month. There are more statistics in this blog post.

An investigation into the growth of mobile traffic

I carried out an investigation using the Google Analytics data of some of our clients, the results can be seen below.

The Investigation

  • Looked at 20 websites (combination of ecommerce & non-ecommerce)
  • The websites were split across various different industries
  • Data taken for March 2011 vs March 2012
  • The mobile data includes iPad users

The Results

  • Two websites saw an increase of over 500% in the percentage of mobile of their total traffic
  • The average increase in the percentage of mobile traffic was 225%
  • All of the websites saw an increase of over 100% in the percentage of mobile traffic
  • Our fashion clients get the highest percentage of mobile traffic
  • Mobile traffic for one retail client has increased organically by nearly 2000%
  • Traffic for our finance clients is around 22%
  • The percentage of mobile traffic for our fashion clients is just under 20% higher than our finance clients
  • Mobile makes up an average of 14.75% of traffic on average









This data is only based on traffic from websites we manage.

As you can see from these statistics, mobile internet usage is growing at an unbelievable rate, which is why responsive design represents such a strong proposition for businesses.

In 2010, Google became a mobile-first company - meaning they design and develop all of their tools and websites for mobile devices before designing for desktop computers. We’re now applying this principle to all SilverStripe and Magento websites that we build, delivering responsive websites that are scalable.

Understanding the opportunity that mobile represents for your business

In some cases, adapting your website to be more mobile-friendly might not be a cost-effective option, you can find out by doing the following:

Review your traffic in Google Analytics



If a lot of your visitors are coming from mobile devices, then a mobile website or responsive design could prove to be a big opportunity.

Check the devices your visitors are using






Once you’ve identified the mobile devices that your visitors are using, you can then test to see how your website renders on the given device.

If you would like to read more about mobile marketing and websites, I’ve written the following posts on the GPMD blog:

Why you should be thinking about mobile
Apps vs Mobile Websites