Our Ecommerce platform uses some of the most cutting-edge web design and development principles available to bring consumers the best experience we can practically provide whilst maintaining supportability.
Of course, the difficulty here is that the internet, its best practices and the web browsers which dominate the market are in an almost constant state of flux.
To ensure cross-browser compatibility is strong, we employ a number of practices;
- Firstly, we attempt to bullet-proof our code.
- The styles (CSS) we employ on the platform use each browsers' preferred syntax.
- Then we gracefully fall back to a more supportable, although potentially less 'forward-thinking' practice / method.
- Functionality should remain at its best but visually, it may show some imperfections.
Ultimately, we'd love to support every browser, all of the time. However, in practice that would mean we'd deliver a poorer experience for the vast majority of consumers using the latest software.
For those consumers who may not be as tech-savvy and still use unsupported browser versions (such as Internet Explorer or similarly, outdated versions of other browsers), we display a message (where possible) encouraging them to update their software and attempt to gracefully degrade the appearance of the site to a more supportable appearance.
What is Graceful degradation?
The best description of graceful degradation is as follows;
Graceful degradation is a design philosophy that centres around trying to build a modern web site/application that will work in the newest browsers, but fall back to an experience that while not as good still delivers essential content and functionality in older browsers.
What this means for your customers is that, if they're using a modern browser, they'll see a sleek user interface conducive to an easy and stress-free online shopping experience.
However, if they're using an old(er) browser that may not support some of the code we use, then visually the website may be compromised in some capacity - varying depending on how old the browser is - but functionally a transaction will still be possible.
Where Graceful Degradation does not apply
In the case of very old, or End of Life browsers, which are not supported in any capacity, then graceful degradation simply isn't possible. As the web moves forward and optimisations in code are made available (and, importantly, are widely supported by browsers) then it's important to support "the many" rather than "the few" to ensure the greatest possible number of customers receive the best possible experience.
Browser Support List
The below list features browsers on which we carry out visual and functional tests to ensure customers can carry out transactions with relative ease. If issues occur on these browsers, we endeavour to resolve them in a reasonable amount of time. We create and adjust this list based on device use and revenue contribution.
If a browser ages out; that is to say, when revenue contribution and overall sessions fall below what we'd consider to be meaningful, then we make the decision that supporting it is no longer a worthwhile expenditure of time. It may be that once this occurs, the browser remains visually and functionally fine, the same as the supported browsers. Unfortunately, however, it may be that over time the browser's age begins to show and this is where graceful degradation takes place.
- Google Chrome
- Microsoft Edge
- iOS Safari
- 12 to Latest
Latest-1 (Visually checked)
- Latest-1 (Visually checked)
NOTE: Here, Latest–1 means one major version earlier than the latest released version.
Why don't we support Internet Explorer after January 2022?
Simply, because its creator — Microsoft — no longer supports any version of the browser. As of November 2020, Microsoft ceased all security support of Internet Explorer with a view to phasing it out of all current Microsoft products by Q3 2022.
In August 2020, we announced that support for the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application [Internet Explorer] ends on March 9, 2021. After this date, Microsoft Edge Legacy [Internet Explorer] will no longer receive security updates.
Ultimately this means that because our Ecommerce platform handles sensitive/personal data, that this kind of potential (and increasingly likely) security issue means we cannot, in good conscience, support Internet Explorer.
If you'd like to, you can read more about the Internet Explorer end-of-life announcement, here.