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There is no longer a debate over whether online retailers need a mobile site, as consumer demand dictates that brands need to optimised for small screens.

However there are still several different options facing brands that want to create a mobile optimised site.

Responsive design is seen by many as being the future of web design, and we previously looked at 11 gorgeous examples of the technology and asked several experts whether site owners need to adopt it.

But the examples we’ve seen suggest that responsive design is currently more popular among design agencies and artists, while major ecommerce retailers have been slow on the uptake.

So to show how responsive design can be applied in retail, here are 10 examples of ecommerce sites built using responsive design...

Currys

Currys is quite unusual among the UK’s major retailers for having adopted responsive design.

As a result its site scales perfectly for either screen, without compromising on the user experience.

                      

King of Nothing

Though this site took a while to load properly on my browser it’s a great example of a small retailer using responsive design for an online store.

It’s also quite fun to resize the browser and watch the products shift themselves around the screen on the shop homepage...

Burton

Snowboard retailer Burton has used responsive design for most of its site, however one aspect that isn’t yet available on mobile is its ‘Board Finder’ tool that asks the customer questions to help them find their perfect snowboard.

United Pixel Workers

This is one of the better examples of this list, as its simple design and use of large calls-to-action means it resizes perfectly on different screen sizes without becoming difficult to use.

One criticism is that hardly any of its products are in stock, but perhaps it's waiting for a delivery...

Tattly

Tattly sells temporary tattoos, which is certainly a niche market, yet it has taken the step of embracing responsive design.

It works extremely well in this case as the site uses a lot of white space and also benefits from the great tattoo designs.

                      

Attika

Attika is a German homeware retailer, so I won’t pretend to know how good the copy is on its site.

However it is an excellent example of responsive design and doesn’t seem to suffer from the slow loading times of other sites on this list.

Nuts.com

Another rather niche retailer that is a step ahead of the big players. 

Nuts.com isn’t one of the smoothest examples I’ve seen, but is still a good example of how small retailers can use responsive design.

Hiut Denim

Hiut Denim’s site is a really interesting example, as the desktop site includes attractive background images that disappear entirely on the mobile site.

Despite the imagery the product pages are relatively simple and use large CTAs that translate perfectly onto a mobile screen.

Skinny Ties

The name of this site gives a fairly good indication of what it sells, and it has created a simple yet attractive storefront that scales perfectly for all screen sizes.

Always Riding

Though there are aspects of this site that I don’t like – such as the fact that it displayed customer reviews in Japanese even though I’m in the UK – it’s another useful example of a small retailer using responsive design.

I’m not convinced that showing rider reviews at the top of the mobile screen is the best use of space, but it’s still easy to navigate regardless of the device you’re using.

                      

David Moth

Published 10 January, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1679 more posts from this author

Comments (33)

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Leigh Mardon

Great examples - we have also made our website fully responsive ar www.web-engineer.co.uk

Let me know your thoughts.

Leigh Mardon
Web Engineer

over 3 years ago

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James Doman, Product Marketing Manager, Personalisation Specialist at SmartFocus

Smythson's site is responsive too, and very nice.

Here's a blog post from Session Digital that explains how they approached it: http://blog.sessiondigital.com/post/35565071402/building-a-responsive-ecommerce-store-for-smythson

over 3 years ago

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rgantree

cocosa.com is responsive as well.

over 3 years ago

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Claire

Our e-commerce site is responsive too http://www.beadsdirect.co.uk/

over 3 years ago

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Steve kakai

www.greenboxpromo.com is very responsive

over 3 years ago

deepak sharma

deepak sharma, Co-Founder , Head Operations at Via Digital

You forget about http://www.snapdeal.com/ i think the design is cool here.....

over 3 years ago

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Jack Jarvis, Owner at The Website Review Company

Personally I prefer responsive designs, but is there a need for both a responsive website and a mobile website?

I believe there is. A responsive website can cater for any PC, table and mobile, but Google is pushing mobile specific sites in search on mobile devices, so does this mean we will have to have 2 sites, possibly 3 if you are looking at the app route.

over 3 years ago

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James Barber, Head of Ecommerce at BoroughBox Ltd

Last year we re-launched our site using responsive design. The process was very challenging and resulted in a large increase in wireframe and development time but our user base is heavily skewed towards mobile and tablet so it was time well spent.

www.diamondmanufacturers.co.uk

@Jack - surely one of the main advantages of creating a responsive site is to remove the need for a separate mobile site?

over 3 years ago

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Patrick

@jackjarvis my understanding is that Google prefer responsive as an approach...

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details

The EE site is another to add to the list: http://ee.co.uk/

over 3 years ago

Andy Wooles

Andy Wooles, Director at Great Northern Design Ltd

A correctly coded responsive website will be detected as a mobile-specific site by googlebot-mobile.

My understanding is that Google is pushing mobile-friendly rather than mobile-specific sites in the search results delivered to a mobile.

Plus responsive design is Google's recommended configuration for smart-phone friendly sites.
See https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details

Apps are a completely different marketing animal requiring their own business case.

over 3 years ago

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Ketharaman Swaminathan

Nice compilation. In the Currys example, only the mobile version is displayed. For the desktop version, see http://ow.ly/i/1mkBd

over 3 years ago

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Xochitl

I have just started my first ever ecommerce store and I am uing a responsive template provided through Shopify. First responses from friends and family have been great.
Think the Tattly site you have highlighted is also built on the Shopify platfrom.

If you want to be in the playing field, you really need to consider responsive design

over 3 years ago

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Angie Schottmuller (@aschottmuller)

Interesting list. It would be handy to include QR codes for each of the sample sites to expedite their viewing on a mobile device. =)

over 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@aschottmuller thanks for the suggestion, though surely it's easier just to click the links?

over 3 years ago

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Justin Avery

This knife store, http://kershaw.kaiusaltd.com/, and skinny ties are the best I've seen.

over 3 years ago

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Waqas

@Claire: That's really a great job for beadsdirect.co.uk

Can you please tell us which technologies are you using to develop this site?

And are you using BoilerPlate for the responsive design?

over 3 years ago

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Matt Isaacs, Senior Ecommerce Manager at Perricone MD

@Graham: That would mean picking up my phone, typing in the url of this site, searching the blog, opening this page, finding the link...

Surely much easier and faster to simply pick my phone up and hold it to the screen at my desk.

over 3 years ago

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rgantree

Hi,
I've posted a comment here and it was deleted is it the way you moderate?
can you please let me know what was wrong with it?

cheers
.r

over 3 years ago

Pete Williams

Pete Williams, Managing Director at Gibe Digital

I'm very wary about the use of templates for responsive design. Our experience is that in order to get the site to work well and not suffer from massive data issues (mobiles don't respond well to sites that are large and therefore take a long time to download)you really need to focus on good programming. What is a customer going to do when a site takes more than 3 seconds to load? Move on to another of course. If you have a responsive designed site and a mobile site to reduce download times you should have worked harder at the responsive site!

over 3 years ago

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sanspoof

Great article. Can anyone point to any resources of brilliant responsive design of websites that specialise in content rather than retail? thanks

over 3 years ago

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Angie Schottmuller (@aschottmuller)

@Graham Since the comparison is for responsive design, its' helpful to do a side-by-side comparison of desktop/traditional screen sizes with tablet and smartphones. A QR code would nicely expedite the process versus attempting to manually type each example into a smartphone. (Delivr.com is a great free tool for QR code creation and tracking.)

over 3 years ago

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Aaron Gooding, Life Digital at LV=Enterprise

We launched our new site LV.com which is responsive. Comments welcome!

over 3 years ago

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Mor

Here is an eCommerce platform that makes it available for everyone to create a responsive ecommerce site!
it's a standard!!

(click on my name to see... :))

over 3 years ago

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John Counsel

Re: snapdeal.com — sorry, but that is NOT a responsive design. The mobile site is a redirect, and you can choose between the mobile and desktop versions in the footer.

over 3 years ago

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Holly Machanic

Love the skinny tie site! fyi, the tattly link doesn't work.

We've developed a responsive solution for restaurants flavorplate.com A must-have for the food space.

over 3 years ago

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Rudee

We are still working on making our website fully responsive. This has been a big challenge. We have over 14000 products so it is not easy. Younger people are using mobile devices more, so this is important.

over 3 years ago

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Rexon Martin

Great selection guys! RWD is a great mile stone in the web design area and all of the creators above deserve huge BRAVO for their efforts and inspiring work.

over 3 years ago

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Jorge Hill

Wow. Awesome list. It is really a great source of inspiration. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up.

over 3 years ago

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chloe

Responsive design is a great way to capture interest and improve those convesrion rates, I think a good designer is one who is able to make a website thats easy to navigate, but also has a stimulating design, and it's hard not to let the two elements cancell each other out. However from my own experience it's much easier not to do this with good shopping cart software.

over 3 years ago

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Ali Aziz, Website Design at www.yumyumbeads.co.uk

We are working to ward a responsive site at www.yumyumbeads.co.uk

almost 3 years ago

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Bradley Grinlinton, Managing Director UK at Reactive

Some more great examples of responsive ecommerce stores:

SNEAKERBOY - Luxury sneaker store
http://www.sneakerboy.com

Ozmosis - Surf, street and skatewear
http://www.ozmosis.com.au

The AFL Store - AFL Team merchandise
http://www.theaflstore.com.au

All built on the Codagenic responsive eCommerce platform:
http://www.codagenic.com

almost 3 years ago

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store hippo, seo at digital marketing

Hi, Very informative post. I would like to add here that http://www.storehippo.com is a new age platform which has jumped the m-commerce bandwagon and creates mobile apps for online stores which are fast, intuitive and responsive.

over 1 year ago

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Darren Hayward, Director at Fertile Frog Web Design

Great examples. Our team at Fertile Frog Web Design creates all our sites in responsive design nowadays. We was looking for some inspiration for new project and feel suitably inspired... Thanks!

Our own site is also responsive here >> www.fertilefrog.com

over 1 year ago

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