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Fathead Caters to Mobile Shoppers, Speeds Up Responsive Design

It’s that time of year again! Online retailers are gearing up for what is expected to be a record setting holiday season. Special focus is being given to mobile in 2014, with more users adopting smartphones and tablets as tools essential for shopping online.

Many e-retailers leverage responsive design to cater to mobile users. Responsive design works well, except for one issue – responsive design sites are almost always slow on mobile networks and devices. This is a major issue for retailers; slow load times amount to significant revenue loss.

Don’t panic, there’s hope! Internet Retailer recently highlighted a great example of a responsive design success.

Here’s a recap of Internet Retailer‘s profile on how Fathead sped up its responsive design site with Yottaa:

Fathead, a web-only seller of life-sized wall graphics, faced a major challenge with responsive design. Load times were too slow, especially for mobile shoppers, and that was hurting the bottom line.

How Responsive Design Works:

With responsive design, content is displayed in 3-5 columns on a desktop viewport (Columns A, B & C on the large monitor). The smartphone (far right) has a smaller, narrow viewport and only displays one column (A).

Therefore, on a smartphone, columns B & C are out of view, stacked “below” column A. In order to view content from columns B and C, the mobile end user must scroll down; therefore, that content is not an immediate necessity. The reason responsive design sites suffer slow performance on mobile is because desktop sized pages and assets are being delivered, in one giant package, through the “smaller pipes” of mobile networks; next the package must be downloaded and resized on less powerful mobile devices.Responsive Design Example

How Yottaa Speeds Up Responsive Design:

Yottaa frees this logjam by sending content for Column A to a mobile device first, and then delivers additional content when necessary. This transforms pages in real time and prioritization enables pages to be lighter, speeding up time-to-interact with the user dramatically (a key factor for online retailers to engage with shoppers).

Fathead Director of Internet marketing Michael Layne explains, “This technology attacks the fundamental flaw in responsive design, which is sending everything and then hiding a bunch of stuff. It looks at the viewport first and says, ‘tell me what you need.'”

With Yottaa, Fathead saw immediate improvement in application performance and end user engagement.

Results for Fathead’s Responsive Design Site with Yottaa:

  • 37% Decrease in Page Load Time
  • 53% Decrease in Page Weight
  • 15% Increase in Revenue-per-Visitor

A 15% increase in revenue-per-visitor signals a major user engagement win for Fathead, and Layne is confident the company is better positioned for mobile commerce heading into the holidays. Moreover, in less than a month, Fathead’s revenue increase covered the costs of onboarding with Yottaa.

For more information on how Yottaa optimizes online & mobile applications to maximize engagement, visit

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