From Computer to Cellphone

How Online Businesses Should Start Subscribing to the Rising Mobile Internet Trend

With increasing numbers of smartphone users and internet data plan subscribers, businesses are starting to see the potential of earning new customers through mobile Internet campaigns. Plans are made whether to optimize their websites for cellphone browsing or develop an app for their business. They consider both and get confused which one to choose.

Here’s an infographic to help you select which option is better for your mobile marketing needs:

Both mobile website optimization and app developed have pros and cons. Customers, especially those transacting with you for the first time, might choose to access your store’s mobile website instead of downloading your app. They also might not want to add more apps on their cellphone as it’s overloaded with apps. Consequently, they might also be more liable to suggest that other people access the website rather than download that app. In my opinion, loyal and repeat customers are more likely to get the app instead of using your mobile website.

So, if you’re just starting your business, work on getting your website optimized for mobile users first. This will be more cost-efficient than investing on app development. Once you’re able to cultivate and maintain a strong customer base, then an app will be absolutely necessary. If planned and designed well, this app will also help your business gain more referrals. Satisfied app users will say to friends, “If you want something for your _______ problem, maybe this business app can help you.”

Mobile apps help businesses achieve customer satisfaction through easy-to-use features accessible even without Internet connection. For example, P.F. Chang’s Restaurant offers these features in an app:

  • P.F. Chang locations
  • Make reservations
  • Browse the menu
  • Place a takeout order
    • Start a new order
    • Select a previous order
    • Join Warrior Rewards and view  other available incentives
    • Discover your Dish of Destiny based on the Chinese zodiac
    • Create your own Words of Wisdom with the fortune cookie generator
    • Share your favorite dishes and fortunes on social networks like Facebook and Twitter
    • Learn about restaurant news, events and promotions
    • Free to download*

If we apply these features to the Time Usage picture above, we will understand how app users are more liable to spend more time using this app more than the website. The mobile app is more interactive and can be used offline. In addition, there are games like the Dish of Destiny and fortune cookie quote generator. More opportunities to connect socially are also available. Patrons of P.F. Chang’s restaurant can immediately post their gastronomic comments and reactions for each dish they had. Example images from P.F. Chang’s mobile app are:

Notice how the graphics are well-done? The sharpness of the images? The fine color and detailed pages of this mobile app certainly makes up for the expense P.F. Chang must have incurred for this. Let’s compare these images to those of the restaurant’s mobile site.As we can see, the mobile website is way simpler in design compared to the mobile app. Simple designs like these enable faster loading speed yet can prevent the user from lingering at your website more. It might be better to spice up the graphics and put some images to the mobile site. These will improve the plain appearance and attract more visitors to your mobile site.

As customers are more likely to visit a mobile website than download the app, it is only natural that the website gets more impressions (i.e. number of times a user accessed a website), visits and unique visitors. All these data does not automatically mean that users are more engaged with mobile websites than app users. According to the infographic snip above, “app users consume 2.4 times more impressions on average.” I believe this came about because only users who are regular customers of a business will actually download its app. They would naturally be the ones to access the app more than a random viewer or one-time customer will.

This is the same case with content. Although the content usage results are equal for both mobile websites and apps, the latter spark more customer engagement. This is due to the amount of habitual transactions that a regular customer makes.

So, in the end, what should a business choose—a mobile site or an app? There really is no right or wrong answer with this question as it is up to the choice of the business owners. They should choose which method works better for their enterprise. However, according to some experts, if a business has the funds, both mobile website and app should be used. This is to maximize on “both platforms and audience.”

To see the full infographic, click here.

 

References:

*List of features taken from: MarketWatch.com

Mashable