To App or Not to App?
“I am struck by the explosion of mobile computing – mobile is clearly going to win the battle with traditional computers.” So said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google in March this year.
The fact is that without your website showing perfectly on mobile, you risk being rapidly left behind. To get your business onto mobile, there are two approaches. The first is via a downloadable App and the second is by having your website adapted so it will show on all mobile devices properly.
Apps are also something that someone must intentionally seek out and, usually, log in to purchase or download. In other words, they require prior motivation on the buyer’s part which is a barrier to large scale use.
With a mobile website, your customers just go to your web address and having clicked to open it, they get a mobile experience similar to a desktop experience. A mobile website gets you right in front of your guests immediately, with no barriers to access and no extra steps or motivation required on behalf of your user. It is seamless.
Say a person is doing a search on their mobile device for a hotel, they will see the hotel listed in search results, and will tap to go. With a mobile website you are serving them immediately from your mobile web address with a rich mobile experience.
With a downloadable app, you are reduced to giving some notification or message that they should now go to the appstore, find your app, download it, launch it, and continue. For the casual booker, that is five steps too many and your booking opportunity may well be lost.
A Big Cost Difference
In relation to cost, this is also an issue. A mobile website will cost considerably less than an App. In relation to booking purposes both will have to resort to real-time data connection to your reservation system over the web anyway, so why not just use the web-oriented mobile website approach in the first place? Apps will also need to be maintained, updated and re-issued via the app store when changed, which is far more cumbersome than updating a mobile website where users automatically get the most current version on every access, without any update issues.
According to a recent mobile marketplace survey by TapTu, despite the production of Apps worldwide skyrocketing, mobile websites have grown even more, indeed at over three times the pace of App development. The report also indicated that the fastest growth area in mobile websites is ecommerce. This shows that mobile users are quite happy with mobile websites as a means of interaction – and as a means of buying.
Downloadable Apps must be developed for each specific platform of mobile phone. Mobile websites are somewhat easier since they operate within the mobile’s browser.
When advertising particularly on radio/TV or print, THE best way is to have a call-to-action being an easy to remember keyword to an easy to remember standard rate text number e.g. “Text HILTON to 51444 standard rate text for further details”. This form of advertising can be set up in any country, is inexpensive and accountable. It also provides leads to the advertiser and they can now call and sell to the enquirer. When someone responds by texting Hilton to 51444 they get back an immediate response which contains the mobile website of the hotel. One can then open it, view it and perhaps book and pay over it if the mobile website has been set up for this facility.
My personal advice is you really MUST get your website adapted, its a once off cost, not expensive depending on how detailed you wish it to be. The basic mobile website containing print and pictures should be sufficient. If you want an App that goes on all Smartphones get it but your priority should be a mobile website, do not listen to the hype!
Does your business need a website redesign to stay relevant and up to date with the latest technology? 847 Studio is one of Chicago’s leading providers of mobile website development. 847 Studio adapt websites so they can be viewed on all mobile devices. 847 Studio also create Apps for iPhone/iPad/Android etc. 847 Studio works with clients all over the World including several well known Brands.
To view one of the most comprehensive websites on the Intenet relating to mobile marketing check out http://www.847studio.com 847 Studio would be happy to provide quotes through their contact page for anything to do with mobile marketing, web design services and all other inquiries related to online presence and seo (search engine optimization) needs.