July 13, 2011 2 Comments
It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years since Apple transformed the mobile industry with the release of the iPhone. Since then we’ve seen unbelievable changes in mobile technology, specifically in the area of mobile apps.
In response to the Smartphone craze businesses in every industry are asking themselves, does my business need a mobile app?
WorldLink’s VP of Mobile Technology, Mike Hall, recently spoke at a Verizon Mobility conference on this very topic. Here are some of the key takeaways from that discussion.
The App Option (Market Stats)
Mashable recently posed the same question and posted the following Infographic, created by BuySellAds, in response. I think this is the perfect statistical representation of “The App Option” for business owners and a great way to get the conversation started.
Advantages of a Mobile App
Once you’ve decided that your company needs a presence in the mobile space, you might be asking yourself another question? Mobile app or mobile website? Here are some key things to consider.
A native app running on your Smartphone is optimized specifically for the device’s operating system and firmware. Because of this the native application can take advantage of specific features that enhance the user experience. Here are some examples of those features:
- Camera – think Instagram & Hipstamatic
- Accelerometer – think Labyrinth & Urban Spoon
- Bluetooth - think file transfers (music, contacts, etc) & credit card readers
- Microphone, video, audio - think Madjef’s MusicLab & iVideoCamera
- Contacts - think Bump
Faster response times, animation, and similarities with other Smartphone functions are just a few reasons that make a native application the best choice for an optimum user experience.
Advantages of a Mobile Web Site
Native applications are typically more expensive to develop then a mobile web site. But before you make a decision based strictly on cost you should evaluate your internal goals for developing an application and the needs of your customers. You might come to the realization that a mobile website is all you need. Here are some advantages of a mobile site:
- App runs on a web server
- Typically used when Smartphone hardware is not really needed
- Main advantage: reduced costs
- Displays are optimized for mobile browsers
Probably the biggest advantage of a mobile site is the convenience of display across multiple different Smartphone platforms. Multi-platform development can be very costly but you omit the risk of missing customers with different devices if a multi-platform strategy is not in place.
The following factors can result in a better experience for the user:
- Content fit to screen sizes
- Uncluttered/filtered content
- Organized navigation
- Reduced pan & zoom
- Reduced page load time
Things To Consider
When thinking about your mobile strategy keep these things in mind:
- Are you losing revenue by not having a mobile presence?
- Do your competitors have a mobile app and/or mobile website?
- Is your target demographic going mobile?
- Creating a mobile presence can open up a new marketing channel and help drive revenue
- Is there an internal need in your company for efficiency/optimization?
Before you make the leap you must have a strategy and know your customers. It may not make sense to develop a mobile app, but your customers are definitely going mobile. The mobile web is growing at an impressive rate and you don’t want to find yourself in the dust of your competitors.
Continue Reading Mobilize Your Business with Mobile Apps! Pt. 2
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