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Looking for feedback from responsive site owners

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  • Looking for feedback from responsive site owners

    For those of you who have made the leap to responsive design - have you noticed a difference in conversion rate? How about in mobile traffic? Have any of you switched from a mobile site to a single responsive site?

    It seems like a huge effort to convert an existing site to the responsive templates, so I was interested in hearing from anyone who has gone through this as to whether or not the ROI is what you had hoped it would be. Feel free to send me a PM if you don't want to post this on a public forum.

    We are currently trying to decide whether to go responsive or mobile. I have been reading about the pros and cons for weeks now and I can't seem to come up with a clear choice. Both seem to have as many drawbacks as they do benefits.

  • #2
    Anyone? I'm not asking for your sales data, just your opinions.


    • #3
      Don't want you to feel like you're being ignored. We have a responsive site based on one of the HTML5 templates. But we started with it (no conversion from non-responsive and no previous use of a mobile site) when we launched at the beginning of August. Sorry, no insights into conversion rates, but I did think the HTML5 template was a benefit.
      - Chuck


      • #4
        I am in your same boat. Planning to convert, but not quite ready to take the jump.
        The html5 templates still say "Beta", and from another thread on the forum, it is obvious they have problems and have not been completely tested.
        Shaun from 3dcart Designs | 3dcart Templates | 3dcart Ecommerce Designs | Frame Templates has a couple of templates, and he is great to work with. My concern is how easy would it be to integrate future 3dcart updates into these templates since they are not made by 3dcart. Maybe Shaun can answer this.

        I think it will be a benefit, however phones and tablets these days handle full site just fine and maintenance on a responsive site would be quite a bit more involved.
        We are waiting until winter or spring to make the leap.


        • #5
          About the beta status of the HTML5 templates...
          I went round and round with Support in July 2014 trying to figure out what beta meant. I had received mixed messages from 3dcart public emails and their website/s. I was persistent because I was starting a site from scratch and it was good timing to begin with a responsive template. I was told that the HTML5 templates were ready for use as long as you had been upgraded to 6.3.1. This statement from Support was not enough to convince me; I pursued further. Here's the response I received from Support to my very specific follow-up questions (July 25, 2014):

          Hello Chuck -
          - Are the Premium Responsive Themes offered through the 3dcart Online Store Manager working?
          Absolutely, I have found them to be well built.
          - Do these Premium Responsive Themes use the files currently found in assets/templates/common-html5?
          Yes, the files are pulled from common-html5
          - Are the free “New HTML5 Themes” (listed as in beta) offered through the 3dcart Online Store Manager working?
          Yes, they are new so if you find any issues with them, please let us know.
          - Are the files in assets/templates/common-html5 fairly stable?
          They are updated as we come across issues with them, basically stable though.
          - Is Jimmy’s demo store (Welcome to Sample Store - Sample Slogan) fairly stable?
          Sure, be sure to let us know if you notice any problems with it.
          - Are the files for Jimmy's demo store available to subscribers?
          Sorry, not available.

          Ernie M.
          (Sorry, Ernie, for dragging you into this, but we're programmers and we need "proof".)

          So my sense is that the HTML5 templates are basically in the same state as the rest of the 3dcart source code: working, basically stable, and continuing to be updated as problems arise.

          I have had no issues with the code (knock on wood!!). I found the template v32017-html5 easy to work with and a great step toward a responsive site, though I know these are subjective judgments. I want to make further improvements in the display at certain sizes, but I know it is within my capabilities when the time is right. The design of our site is fairly customized, but still somewhat typical. Nonetheless, it is those very customizations (deviations from the 3dcart template) that required attention when producing a responsive design. I had to tweak the media queries to achieve the layout that I desired. And such is the case with any template. But it is this "last mile" that I think frustrates store owners much. Sometimes layout changes simply cannot be effected with a switch in the Online Store Manager. Hope people are not misinterpreting a generic columnar layout that is crying out for customization with "bugs."
          - Chuck


          • #6
            I think it will be a benefit, however phones and tablets these days handle full site just fine and maintenance on a responsive site would be quite a bit more involved.
            I'm working bugs out on a 3d cart beta responsive template and looking forward to it working well especially for phones. Strangely I'm seeing more visual issues with it on my desk tops in different res right now. Seems pretty good on win phone and couple of issues on two droid tabs. Unfortunately function not display.
            Anyway I agree on tablets and the full site being fine for display but links can be somewhat small for smooth navigation. I disagree on responsive maintenance. We have a separate full and mobile site on another platform and if I make changes to the full site if I want them on the mobile site we have to change it to. Would be nice to just keep one template up.


            • #7
              I recently converted to a responsive theme and the conversion rate has been higher than before. But around the same time, I had to switch from Google shopping to Display Ads because of restrictions on supplements. Plus, I'm a fairly new business. So the bottom line is, I not sure if the increase in sales is from the responsive website, the change in marketing or a normal progression of a new business. But approximately 80% of my potential customers are coming from mobile devices, so I think changing to responsive did have an impact.

              You don't mention if you plan on a customized site or a template. If you're going with a template, the transition should be fairly easy - if the template works.

              But if you're going with a template, my suggestion would be to proceed with caution. Many have reported that they have had few problems with the templates. I chose to purchase a premium template thinking it had been thoroughly tested and was ready to go - I didn't expect perfect but did expect functional. What I got wasn't even functional and never should have gotten out of QA testing, much less through beta and put out for purchase. After 3 weeks of being completely ignored by the design team, even after the issues were escalated, I fixed it myself. After I complained, 3dcart did refund the purchase price of the template.

              If you do decide to proceed, I wish you the best of luck. If you have a lot of traffic from mobile devices, I think it will probably be worth the transition.
              Susan's Green Marketplace
              Natural, Organic and Eco-Friendly Products


              • #8
                Sorry, we just finished 'building' our responsive site. And not every thing functions on our ipad quite like it does on a normal computer--missing text, dis-functional buttons, fixed image sizes, etc.

                If it hadn't been free with our ProStores Migration Plan (ella jewelry), I seriously doubt that we would have paid the $200 to be a 3d Beta Tester for this product. Typically, Beta Testers get to use it for free to provide input & critique of a product, and not pay for it.

                I suppose it all depends upon your customer base & whether or not the majority of them would be using iPads & smart phones to purchase your products. Wish that I have better information for you. Good luck.

                Thanks again,
                Richard Bendever
                DEBenLLC Publications & Products
                Welcome to DEBENLLC Publications & Products - We Turn Toys into Models!


                • #9
                  We launched our first ever 3dcart store using one of the free responsive themes. v40001-html5. Happy with this so far, apart from the template getting messed up by drag and drop so I leave that well alone now it is live. I would not use anything other than a responsive theme, because of what Google are doing with search results: displaying the 'mobile friendly' tag and at some point in the future ranking sites higher if mobile-friendly.
                  HOWEVER, I am developing another store. It is in the very early stages. So I have been able to try many of the free responsive themes. Disappointingly most of them seem to have issues when resizing the window, either on a PC or mobile device. To be honest I haven't got time to screen shot and report these issues. Problems are: missing menus, overlapping graphics, poor alignment, etc. So I am seriously considering using the above theme and tailoring the colours etc to suit my new store. At least I know it works. I hope that 3dc are working hard to correct these issues.
                  To be fair: they are classed as Beta, I believe, and they are free!