Why Modnique Launched a Responsive Design Website … And Why it Works
Ivka Adam, vice president of marketing & mobile at Modnique
Modnique's RWD website on a desktop screen
Modnique's RWD website on an iPhone
Modnique's RWD website on a 36-inch desktop monitor
Global online retailer Modnique launched a responsive web design (RWD) version of its website this past September in an effort to optimize the experience of visitors using screen sizes as small as the iPhone and as large as 36-inch monitors.
Modnique, headquartered in Redondo Beach, Calif., runs boutique online events for apparel, jewelry, shoes, handbags, watches, accessories, kids and beauty at up to 85 percent off retail. The company specializes in sourcing and shipping brands from around the world. New merchandise arrives daily and is featured in 36-hour to 72-hour events. Since its launch in 2011, Modnique has realized 90 percent growth year-over-year and boasts a 75 percent customer retention rate.
RWD is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience — e.g., easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling — across a wide range of devices, from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors. It allows consumers to effortlessly interact and shop from any device they choose.
Modnique decided to implement RWD in April 2013, when visits from smartphones and tablets reached 30 percent of the brand's total traffic. In addition, customers using mobile phones to purchase merchandise were opting out of the company's mobile site in favor of using the desktop version.
"This was consistent with what I was seeing at other companies," says Ivka Adam, Modnique’s vice president of marketing and mobile. "Consumers are used to using the desktop site and want that same experience on their mobile phones. A responsive design site would allow for a more consistent experience across channels for our customers. The experiences on the desktop and phones look the same and consumers can navigate the same way, no matter which screen they choose."
What's more, the majority of Modnique's customers reside in regions with more than 60 percent smartphone penetration, so “we knew redefining our user experience in terms of a multidevice world is of utmost importance to us," adds Adam.
There were other reasons Modnique decided to go with one responsive site vs. having both a desktop site and a mobile site. For instance, Modnique's search engine optimization efforts have improved with only site. Furthermore, it's easier to maintain just the one site.
Additionally, to accommodate each unique device and user location, the site used varying image sizes and dynamic quality scaling to achieve an optimal balance of image quality and site performance. Modnique's RWD site was up and running Sept. 24.
While it’s too soon to say whether the new website has increased sales or conversions for Modnique, Adam says "our customers have responded to it really well."
As for next steps, Adam says Modnique is focusing on "launching apps for both Android and iPhone, as well as localizing different versions of our site for users in different countries such as Russia in the coming months."
Before you take the RWD plunge, however, Adam suggests retailers make sure they’re equipped to handle the work involved.
"Responsive web design sites are easier to maintain in the long term, but in the short term they take a lot more work than launching a mobile site," she says. "Also, we knew we had developers who knew how to do it. If you’re a lean team, however, you may not. It may just be easier to maintain a mobile site."