Responsive websites adjust to the pixel-width of the screen upon which they are being viewed, providing the same level of user experience on every device and preserving all content necessary to maintaining such user experience.

In even simpler terms—responsive websites are the only website format that should be taken seriously on the internet.

So unlike mobile friendly websites, responsive sites will never have users zooming, squinting (and probably cursing).

And here’s why all of this matters:

Mobile Internet Usage and Responsive Design: 13 Shocking Statistics

1. Mobile traffic as a share of total global online traffic in 2017 is 52.64%‍

What it means:

Statista has found that mobile traffic globally has a larger share of internet usage than desktop traffic. Actually, mobile traffic has been ahead since 2015.

These figures are increasing year over year, causing websites that are not responsive to lose progressively larger portions of their audience.

Ask any company if they would like to more than double their website traffic. It’s probably a good bet they will say yes.

2. Mobile devices are projected to reach 79% of global internet use by the end of 2018‍

What it means:

If #1 wasn’t convincing enough, research shows that mobile internet usage is projected to skyrocket in the coming year.

It’s compelling that even companies that pride themselves on building great computers are targeting younger demographics and alluding to a world where the computer industry is ripe for disruption.

When Apple does something like this, it’s worth paying attention.

3. In 2017, mobile eCommerce revenue accounts for 50% of total U.S. eCommerce revenue

‍What it means:

50% of US eCommerce revenue is already happening on mobile devices.

It logically follows that with the projected increase in overall mobile share of internet traffic that this number will go up as well.

In fact many retailers are already known for their great mobile shopping experience and others are making significant improvements to theirs.

4. In 2017, the mobile share of total digital minutes in the United States is 65%‍

What it means:

New statistic—same idea.

People are spending more and more time using the internet on their mobile device. More time equals more activity, and more activity means more traffic potential.

5. 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile‍

What it means:

Ok, so here’s where responsive web design comes into play:

Websites that are not mobile responsive are by nature poorly designed, because they don’t provide an optimal user experience.

No company wants its website visitors to be wary of referring them.

6. Nearly 8 in 10 customers would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device‍

What it means:

All the traffic in the world doesn’t matter if a website isn’t ready to give that traffic what it’s looking for.

A website that requires pinching and zooming is no longer just a small inconvenience to its users, it’s an automatic “no.”

While responsive design is not yet featured on as many websites as it should be, it’s still out there—and users will search until they find it rather than settling for a bad website.

7. 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important‍

What it means:

This is an area where companies with mobile friendly websites may think they are unscathed by their lack of responsive websites, but it’s actually quite the opposite.

“Seamless experience across all devices” doesn’t mean “same experience across all devices.”

Rather, it implies that a user can view a website on a computer, then pick up a phone or tablet and pick up where he left off without any confusion.

The layout of the website may look different—as it should, based on the different sized devices—but the ease of use and the overall experience should never suffer.

Those who are not may cease to exist in the near future.

8. As of Q2 2017, smartphones hold a 57% share of all retail website visits‍

What it means:

Earlier, we learned that 50% of U.S. eCommerce sales occur on mobile devices.

If smartphones alone account for 57% of retail website visits, there must be a gap in the quality of retail mobile sites that causes conversion rates to be lower.

Still, 57%—a number primed to be bolstered by retailers putting more effort into their mobile shopping experiences—should be a large enough slice of the pie to drive retailers with poor mobile experiences to action.

Time for Action

Where does responsive web design fall in all of this?

Google has shown historically that it’s algorithm shifts are reactions to the behavior and the preferences of internet users.

Internet users have shown not only that they are predominantly choosing the mobile experience, but that they want that experience to be seamless, easy and highly functional.

Responsive design provides the highest possible level of user experience on mobile devices, so being mobile friendly just doesn’t cut it anymore, and will certainly not cut it in another two years.

There’s something we can all learn from Google’s upcoming mobile-first shifts:

Search rankings aren’t the only factor that should cater to the mobile experience.

Websites themselves should be designed with the mobile user in mind above all else.

While we can easily conclude that responsive design is superior to mobile friendly, not all responsive websites are created equal. Designs that truly cater to the experience of the mobile user will prevail in a landscape that is shifting more and more in that direction.

If you’re a business owner, now is the time to take the plunge and create a responsive website for your company.

If you’re a marketer or web designer, think about the benefits to the end user of putting the mobile experience first in all of your work.

It will pay dividends in a mobile-only future that feels further away than it actually is.