Does Your Business Really Need a Mobile App?
Contributed by Shaun Dobbin, Chief Executive at Gomeeki
The mobile market is an innovative, fast and dynamic environment. The integration of smartphone devices into consumers’ daily lives has increased rapidly in the past few years.
With over 54 per cent of Australians owning a smartphone and just over 22 million Australians owning a mobile device it’s almost critical now for businesses to ensure they are accessible over multiple mobile channels.
Many customers are now multi-device users, switching between a smartphone, a tablet, a PC and a TV multiple times throughout the day or simultaneously. It’s no longer effective for businesses to just be across one or two of these mediums. A mix of these mediums is paramount for effective and sustainable customer communication.
If you, like many other businesses, have started noticing a steady increase in the percentage of customers attempting to access your website via a mobile device it may be time to start thinking about making an investment into a mobile strategy.
But the question is – Is a mobile application the best option for your business or is an mSite a much more effective solution?
Identify your business goals – what do you want to achieve?
Making an investment into an mSite or mobile app is a big decision. The questions that really drives this decision is how do you want your customers to engage and connect with you via mobile? And what are your ROI objectives?
If your key focus is cost and simplicity then an mSite may be better for you. mSites are slightly easier and cheaper to build and are a lot simpler to maintain from the backend. Apps – needing to be coded and built specifically for each mobile platform (iOS or Android) can potentially lead to a more significant investment.
What is your strategy behind the app or mSite? How do you plan to build revenue? Will users need to buy the app or will it be for free? Will you advertise via mobile sites? A high development cost could pay off in the end if high amounts of revenue can be achieved.
Mobile sites are limited to features only available within the mobile’s browser software and are a slave to the Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, or users individual internet connection. Where as an app can work on or offline and works with the phone’s individual features such as geo-location, Wi-Fi connectivity, camera functionality and connections to social media platforms.
If your mobile strategy relies on one of more of these functions to run, then an app may just be a better solution.
Apps also allow businesses to use tactics such as push notifications, replacing its more expensive ‘cousin’, SMS marketing and access into the user’s current location enabling advanced marketing activations.
Context is key
The customer journey is an essential part of a mobile strategy and should be taken into consideration before deciding on which approach is best. Context is key when it comes to deciding on which platform will be more effective and accessible for your target audience.
What is the purpose of your app and what devices are your target audience using? If your audience uses a mixture of devices consistently throughout the day it may be more cost effective and efficient to invest in an mSite that allows all users, at whatever stage of the day, using whichever device, to access it, of if budget allows, given research tell us consumers are engaging for longer on native apps, a specific application for each of the major operating systems delivering the ultimate experience for your customers whilst increasing your chances for conversion.
Consider the customer journey
Also take into consideration when your users will be interacting with your mobile solution. What mood will they be in? Where will they be? At what time will they be accessing it? Use of push notifications, GPS tracking, and asking for permission to use other smartphone functionality may not be effective. In fact these tactics, if not used appropriately, may alienate your target audience or turn them off your brand all together.
There are pros and cons for each an mSite and a Mobile App. Like all marketing strategies it’s about the solution that fits your brand, and your audience, the best.
Gomeeki is Australia's leading Mobile service provider for business mobile marketing solutions. They are experts in cloud based multi-screen solutions providing a range of unique services and strategies for all stages of the customer journey, underpinned by industry leading technology.
With a blue chip client base including the region's leading operators, service providers and consumer brands, Gomeeki has been a pioneer in the Australian mobile sector, helping deliver innovative and compelling services.