Consumers are always on-the-go these days, and one of the best time-saving-activities of all time is shopping — especially during the holiday season. So, the question is: what’s the most effective way for web merchants to increase their mobile presence? Should they use an optimized mobile site or mobile applications to reach their customers? How about both? Below are a few tips on how to decide what option is best for you.
Before you start, it’s important to set your own goals and to understand your target consumer audience. By defining your own needs and those of your customers, you can better assess which mobile option makes the most sense for your business.
A mobile website might be your first choice because it’s usually the first place your customers will go to learn more about your products and brand. Mobile users want to be able to access product information in a mobile browser without having to scroll through too much content.
According to a Google survey on smartphone Internet users, 74 percent indicated they were more likely to return to a site if it was mobile-friendly. Additionally, 67 percent of mobile users say they’re more likely to make a purchase when visiting a mobile-friendly site.
Mobile websites can cost less to build and can be developed with the same code for multiple operating systems. Therefore, your mobile website optimized with features that increase mobile usability will reach consumers everywhere including the ever-growing number of them who continue to engage with websites using their mobile devices.
If you’re a brand with a large following of loyal customers, a mobile app can be a great way to connect with them. Always visible on a user’s mobile device, a mobile app allow you to provide value-add services for loyal customers that can include access to loyalty programs and interactive content. According to a comScore study, 51.1 percent of mobile users prefer to download content via apps rather than though a browser.
Apps are typically more costly than mobile sites to build; however, they are fast and can access device-specific features like cameras and address books without always requiring web access. If your goal is to provide an app that functions more like a program than a website that provides interactive engagement with users, developing an app might be the best option for your business.
Mobile Site & Mobile App
For some companies, the benefit of having both a mobile website and a mobile app might be a good option. One would accommodate consumers looking for your product while using a mobile device, and the other would act as an interactive extension of your products and brand.
In closing, whichever option you select, it is important to determine a strategy for your business with regard to mobile users. By weighing all the mobile solutions available and keeping your company’s goals and target consumer audience in mind, you should be able to decide on the best option for your business that will build your mobile presence.