Mobile commerce platform provider mShopper is facing off with Google over responsive web design, and is driving a petition requesting an amendment to Google's stance on the matter.
mShopper recently launched a new mStore designed to help online retailers drive conversions and improve sales using mobile devices. According to mShopper CEO David Gould, responsive web design will have an adverse effect on mStore and mobile commerce in general.
"I speak for everyone involved in the mobile commerce market segment when I say Google is quite literally impeding the growth of mobile commerce through its support of Responsive Web design. As a mobile commerce platform provider, our obsession is to help online retailers capture more traffic and convert that traffic into incremental sales," said Gould. "Google is such an amazing company. Still, they need to understand that one size doesn't work for all. One common set of HTML, modified only by CSS just doesn't cut it. Mobile use cases vary widely from other devices and user contexts, and the UX always needs to be optimized for the correct UX. It doesn't work if you start with an 'E-Commerce First' design or a 'Mobile First' design. Either way, one size fits all means another side is getting short changed. This is a classic case of 'Pareto Optimization,' or lack thereof I should say."
The "Pareto Optimization" that Gould refers to is a finance and budgeting principle in which all aspects of a business receive equal representation while adding an incremental improvement. Basically, no one entity suffers while adding resources to facilitate another's success, according to Gould. He explains that in the case of online commerce, the notion that one code base can facilitate the success of all three device types — desktop, tablet and smartphones — is a flawed principle since the variety of use cases of each device is dramatically different. And that’s bad news for businesses like mShopper, particularly when mobile commerce is rapidly becoming retail's fastest growing channel.
Because mShopper focuses its product development for its industry-leading mobile commerce solution using statistics and feedback gathered from its customer base, the company says it has a direct view to the impact on conversion rates and sales. By tracking key performance metrics, mShopper can see how responsive design or poor SEO practices impact its customer conversion rates in the fast-moving world of online retail.
"Somebody has to speak up for the mobile commerce side of the online retail market, and that's why we are organizing the petition drive," added Gould. "We need to hear the truth from as many developers, web designers and e-commerce people as possible. Responsive design can work for some sites some of the time. But it is not the answer for all people all the time. Google has really smart progressive people. I have no doubt they will jump on board once they become aware of this particular problem."