If you have a website, you definitely want it to open up well on mobile, and you should even go beyond mobile browsing when it comes to your loyal clients. You should also build a mobile app. Why?
Maybe the high cost of building a mobile app is making you hesitate about spending the time and money. Let's find out why it's totally worth it for any industry.
Image Courtesy: NextBigWhat Blog, Google Acquires AdMob
Most advertisers are interested in what a customer does after seeing a TV commercial or an outdoor billboard. Research data from Karen McGrane, a popular content strategist and UX designer, reveals that up to 86% of smartphone users say they use their smartphones while watching TV, and about 40% of them do that on a daily basis. And that's not only a brief look at the Facebook newsfeed. 71% of smartphone users look for additional information when they get interested in a commercial on TV, in print or on the Internet. If your website is mobile-unfriendly website with tiny font or a Flash player inconsistency, do you think it will drive your potential consumer to brand loyalty?
On the other hand, a mobile website and a mobile app will help your client find the most relevant information quickly, readable even on a small screen. It goes without saying that advertising on mobile is a waste of budget if you don't have a reliable and user-oriented mobile website or app to support it.
First, retailers need to think about how exactly the mobile gadgets are being used by their customers. Many adult Americans (approximately 1 in 3) report they use a smartphone to get a price comparison and additional information while they're physically in the store. They're standing right in front of your product, but they didn't buy it because of the information found on smartphones - most likely, the information from your competitor. Without mobile, you lose a surprising amount of sales: 37%.
Second, retailers need to prepare the information for those clients who monitor the market before they make any purchases. Customers check on the selection and prices from different sellers, they learn more about features and read customer reviews. And this monitoring is not always done on a desktop - 66% of all smartphone users want to be 'smart customers.'
Third, buying right from one's smartphone should become easier. The category of customers who shop mobile has high expectations: they want it to be just as comfortable as desktop shopping, and 80% want it to be no worse than traditional offline shopping. There's a huge market to be tapped there, since current mobile shopping is often a disappointment for them. Studies show that 84% of today's mobile shoppers experience difficulties including uncomfortable navigation, lack of information, material that's false, and error messages.
A big part of the problem is that only 37% of retailers have a mobile website version or a mobile app. Those that exist might not work properly in the six most popular mobile browsing systems. Remember that your mobile content needs to be out there not because it's a trend but because you care about your customer. Mobile websites that lead nowhere and don't provide essential information are worse than worthless.
For example, a few years ago IKEA had only a region selection page for mobile users. Now the experience has improved dramatically:
However, the catalog tab still leads you to a desktop version. How many sales have they lost due to that?
Rich Ziade, who is the CEO of Readability (service for postponed reading), shares the experience of his many customers in one sentence: people simply like reading from their smartphones. Not even from an iPad or a Kindle. From a smartphone! The average amount of reading time spent over a small smartphone screen is more that reading time spent with an iPad or desktop taken together.
The major publishers' problem here is that content adaptation should work for all devices. Removing one of the channels or platforms causes serious audience losses. Readers want to read content wherever they are, in a way that is more convenient right now.
The majority of banks and investment companies allow access to their website only for their existing clients. But what about the potential ones? A mobile-ready catalog, that describes your service packages, could engage many new clients into banking with your company. Also, with this setup your existing clients have only transactional functionality at their fingertips, and even they can't explore additional information. Remember, 15% of all finance and insurance search queries come from mobile devices.
There is no reason to ignore your potential clients and give only the major functions to existing customers. Traditional banking websites have loads of information about the offered products, and mobile banking websites should be just as good.
The intimacy of a smartphone makes it a better choice for sensitive and confidential information like a healthcare profile and data. Healthcare mobile content is a fast-growing segment. Smartphones are a great choice for spreading healthcare information because they are owned by all demographic groups regardless of age, income level, or ethnicity. Immigrants, young people, and people with low family income usually have smartphones even if they don't have a desktop computer. And many these groups have a special need for healthcare information.
On a practical level, if you produce alcohol or cigarettes, your mobile version might include less information about quitting these bad habits while your desktop version continues to correspond to the existing legal requirements.
Image Courtesy: Mobile Marketing Blog, Top 10 + 1 Mobile Apps From Universities
Young people are very tied to their smartphones because they provide privacy, mobility, and instant messaging. Most universities have mobile websites for their current students, but they forget about the teenagers who form a very important target audience for education. Up to 70% of young Americans between 18 and 24 years have smartphones, and 80% of those who are going to buy a device would prefer a smartphone. Up to 50% of teenagers from 14 to 17 also have smartphones, and that concentration is higher in those families where parents have higher education. And there's your target audience for college applications.
Moreover, catalogs with details on educational programs details interest the bill-paying parents of those teenagers and students, too.
Working hours, location, menus, reservation booking, delivery phone number - that is what mobile users generally want from restaurant websites. No Flash illuminations. No menus in a heavy PDF. No music with autostart. Remember, whatever it is that irritates you in desktop websites will drive you absolutely crazy when it comes to the mobile versions and apps. About 30% of all web traffic (on the average) comes from mobile.
In general, the mobile version or mobile app does not have to have less information or functionality. The context of using mobile shouldn't be so different from desktop, since not every user merely takes a rapid glance at the screen while running or moving. Think back over the many times you were standing in line or commuting while passing time with a small glowing screen. Recollect all the times when you were just too lazy to sit at the desktop first, and instead took your iPhone shopping or to buy movie tickets. No matter your industry, you can benefit from implementing a mobile version or, even better, a mobile app.
Please share your vision about mobile and mobile apps with us in comments!