Dropping Like Its Dot: M Dot Sites to Lose 50 Percent Share in 2015



M-dot sites aren’t dead, just dying.

A recent report released by Pure Oxygen Labs surveyed the Internet Retailer 500 Guide (2014) and found use of m-dot sites for ecommerce dropped from 79 percent in 2013 to 59 percent, with dynamic serving and responsive sites increasing 12 percent and 15 percent, respectively, with share shifting away from first-generation mobile solutions even further this year.

Dynamic serving is currently used more often than responsive among m-commerce sites, expected to pass 20 percent in 2015. Though responsive has several advantages, retailers are opting for dynamic serving to avoid responsive’s performance drag (a major factor in bounce, conversion rate and customer satisfaction).

Responsive vs. Dynamic 

The main difference between responsive and dynamic (also known as adaptive) is adaptive allows you to target device-specific HTML, rather than load a single HTML file that uses CSS and media queries to format the experience.

Aside from being faster, the advantages of adaptive are:

You don’t need a complete website overhaul

Responsive projects typically require a redesign from the ground up, and thorough testing across devices to ensure breakpoints don’t become break points. Rather than using CSS and media queries, the adaptive approach uses device-specific HTML that’s pulled by the device (client) or detected by the server.

It’s likely better than SEO

A website can keep to one-URL (vs. anm.site copy) for each page with either responsive or adaptive, but a faster page load speed is likely an edge over responsive to search engines, who do use page load speed and bounce rates back to search pages as ranking factors.

There are always exceptions. A responsive site can be optimized for performance, and an adaptive site can load slowly due to page weight, number of HTML options to load or server/technical issues.

If you do use adaptive, make sure you follow Google’s tips for getting your mobile version crawled and indexed, and to appear as a mobile friendly site in search.

You can design contextual experiences

While responsive design offers some ability to show and hide content to different screen sizes, laser-targeting to specific devices isn’t possible.

You may want to show different content to Apple users vs. Android. For example, iOS8 has a horrid Price-is-Right feel to its menu selection. With adaptive, you could override the native selection tools for such devices to a custom method of input. If future OS versions correct the usability issue, you can still target that version to remaining iOS8 users.


Reprinted by permission.

Image Credit: CC by Marta Sánchez

About the author: Linda Bustos

As Director of Ecommerce Research at Elastic Path, Linda Bustos works with some of the world’s largest companies to help improve conversion rates and profitability on the Web. In addition to writing the Get Elastic blog since 2007, Linda’s articles have appeared in Mobile Marketer, CMO Magazine, E-Marketing + Commerce, and Search Marketing Standard. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, including XCommerce, Conversion Conference, and Affiliate Management Days.

In 2010, Linda earned a spot on the DMNews Top 30 Direct Marketers Under 30 list. She has served as faculty for the Banff New Media Institute’s Career Accelerator Program and Marketing Profs University, and has appeared as one of the Top 100 Influential Marketers of the year in 2008 and 2009. Prior to joining Elastic Path, Linda worked agency-side, specializing in usability and SEO.

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