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Zava Design
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The result of the conversion was very successful, not so much in traffic but in actual enquiries and sales

There are more and more case studies of this coming out. And this to me is what it boils down to: evidence. I can read differing opinions of where the mobile internet will head to “eventually” until I’m blue in the face. I’ve been reading where the internet has been supposedly heading for the past 15 years, and much of it was very wrong. But I can see evidence of what is working NOW for many businesses both big and small, and that to me is more important than someone’s opinion.

They found that many mobile users were already in a store and using their mobile to find competitive prices for example. i.e. they had the product in front of them so they weren’t interested in the specs or description, just the price and shipping cost.
Or using their phone at work to browse for products to buy at a later date. i.e. adding products to a wishlist.

While I agree with you to a certain extent with the first, did you take a look at the link I posted back on the responsive website case studies? They all had huge increases in mobile device purchases too, not just browsing. And I think this will only increase, much like it did for people actually buying online once they became comfortable with the idea, the same will occur with buying via their mobile phone, though likely much more rapidly since we are basically comfortable with online in general nowadays.

But with regards to your instore comment, definitely an important aspect of mobile ecommerce for certain businesses (those with a bricks & mortar store mostly), along with the phone/location details JohnW mentioned previously. But with good “mobile first” design & development this is addressed first and foremost, and then hidden or positioned elsewhere on the page or site for desktop users. As has been mentioned a couple of times, if the execution of a responsive site is done badly then obviously it won’t be successful. Same as if a desktop-only site was done badly in the past.

As far as I’m concerned, for the majority of businesses large or small, if you’re not catering for your mobile device users then you’re missing out on a significant (and growing) number of business opportunities and/or customers. I really don’t think there’s any doubt about that any more.

Personally I think 99.9% of small businesses should be looking at a responsive site. There’s too much cost and upkeep in keeping 2 sites running.

I was actually reminded about this on another forum by someone. Underlying everything else, especially for small businesses, you have to factor in the cost aspect.