First impressions are important. Your customers live in a mobile world and expect it to be easy to find your product or service across various devices. This means it’s vital you have a well-designed and well-written mobile site to make a great first impression. Without one, you could be losing valuable sales. It’s estimated that 57% of mobile users will leave your website if it doesn’t load after three seconds. And 30% of users will abandon a purchase if the shopping cart isn’t designed for a mobile device. Keep these stats in mind when determining if going mobile is right for you.
Mobile sites and apps are great ways to quickly introduce your brand and products to people. But, rather than think about mobile sites or apps as tools to choose between, think about the needs of your customers first. What will be most beneficial to them? Consider where, when, how and why they want to interact with your business. This will help you decide whether you need a mobile site as well as a mobile app.
How are mobile sites and apps different?
An app is a piece of software created for a specific purpose and built for a certain type of device or mobile platform. Apps are usually downloaded by customers once they have an idea about your product or service. If an app has useful content, is easy to use and provides clear benefits, it will give your customers a reason to keep using it.
A mobile website is just a version of your website viewed on a mobile device. Well-designed websites are built to be mobile-friendly or ‘responsive’ and adjust seamlessly to work on mobile devices, tablets and desktops.
Cell sites and mobile apps have different purposes and its best to understand these before deciding where to invest your time, energy and money.
The advantages of a mobile site:
- Mobile websites are used more by customers and prospects who are engaging with you for the first time.
- You can reach a broader audience. Every mobile user has access to a mobile browser. So, any new customer or prospect using a search engine will be able to find your business.
- It’s easy to publish and update content. This can be done using your website’s content management or publishing system. Changes and updates can be instant. Apps often take longer to update.
- A mobile website works on any device.
- You have flexible design options. You don’t need to comply with the standards, guidelines and requirements of an app store or marketplace. You just need your website, a domain name (URL) and web hosting.
The advantages of a mobile app:
- Mobile apps are more likely to be for people who already know something about your business. They usually have a good idea who you are and what you offer.
- An app can provide a clean and simple interface that lets your customers perform common tasks quickly and easily and it provides you with a direct and uninterrupted marketing channel.
- An app collects lots of information about your customers. This makes it easier to offer them personalized communication based on their interests, location, usage, contacts and more.
- Apps are perfect for calculations, charts, etc. and can quickly provide financial history, reports or recommendations to your customers.
- Apps provide access to your content or functions without an internet connection. Your customers can still read articles or browse product catalogs while offline. As soon as they’re back online, the app can then pass the stored information to your server or database.
- A well-designed mobile app performs actions much faster than a mobile website does.
- Extra functions are available. A mobile app can be designed with elaborate functions based on the gestures people use on a mobile device such as ‘tap,’ ‘swipe,’ ‘drag,’ ‘pinch,’ ‘hold,’ and more.
Whether you focus your attention on a mobile site or a mobile app, both offer some great functions. Whatever you choose, make sure customers can easily:
- Make a purchase from you
- Find their way around quickly and easily
- Call your business with one click or tap
- Find you on a map and easily get directions to your business
- Check your business hours
- Sign up for alerts and emails
- Share your content
Thinking about your business goals can help you get the most out of mobile sites and apps. If you haven’t created a mobile site or an app, now’s the time to start. Like any business investment, your business objectives, what exactly you wish to achieve with a mobile site and/or app and what the costs and benefits are for your business must be considered.
It today’s mobile age, it’s not just about having a mobile plan in place – but about how fast you can implement it. The mobile marketing landscape is complex. But with a solid plan that fits your brand, and by working with the latest technologies, you can gain a competitive advantage.