Small businesses have taken a huge hit in the time of Covid-19. Black owned small businesses have struggled to stay afloat in this critical time. I read a heartbreaking article entitled “Without more help, black-owned businesses might not survive the pandemic” on CNN.com.
This article states that 90% of small businesses in black communities hold cash reserves of fewer than 14 days. This lockdown leaves those businesses at risk of running out of operating funds because people cannot access their physical location.
At July Five, we want to be able to stand side by side with black retail business owners who are struggling at this time and give valuable information that can help. Not being able to enter stores has caused businesses to have to lean into technical solutions to sustain them for now and catapult them into the future post lockdown. But, don’t be discouraged in this news because retail businesses still have the ability to do well and responsive web design is the answer.
According to Nielson Norman Group a responsive website can be described as a web development approach that creates dynamic changes to the appearance of a website based on the screen size or orientation changes. To further explain, this means that your website should adjust to the different screen sizes that will be viewing your site. These can include mobile, tablet, and desktop. A responsive site will be able to determine the size of the screen it is being viewed from and alter the site for best user experience. An easy way to tell if a website is not responsive is to look at the scale of the words/images on a site. If the words/images are too small to read without zooming or too big and run off the screen the website is probably not responsive.
Here are a few ways responsive web design can work for your retail business:
1. A Sense of Connection to Your Target Market and Consumers.
Screen time averages have jumped significantly over the past few months since social distancing began. A responsive website that looks good and is well thought out is the perfect way to stay connected virtually with your customers, employees and partners. Before “lockdown” websites were visited by 52% mobile users and 49% desktop users. A design that looks good on a mobile screen is a great tool to engage customers longer and get your information shared on social media seamlessly.
2. (SEO) Search Engines Favor Responsive Web Design.
I have found myself scrolling the internet and finding retail brands (some popular retail brands as well) with websites that are not responsive to mobile screens. As we shared a little above font that is too small to navigate or make a purchase with is an example of a non-responsive website. This creates a difficult user experience which will cause people to log off of your site quickly. Google has the ability to scan your site and determine a user’s ability to navigate it. If your scan comes back with a poor outcome, then your Google ranking will be negatively impacted.
3. Responsive Web Design Makes Purchases Easier.
When a website considers the type of screen viewing the site and adjusts, it ultimately creates a better user experience. When setting up an e-commerce store ensure that checkout is easy on the desktop, tablet and mobile screens. Consider your user’s journey from initial visit to checkout and ensure that you are not requiring them to do extra work to complete checkout. A responsive website will allow customers ease of purchase and allow you to make more sales. Lastly, if you get stuck or don’t know where to start to accomplish creating an e-commerce site just ask for help.
July Five wants to help your retail brand thrive. We are offering free consultation to any Black woman owned retail businesses who needs our help.