Developing a mobile strategy for your company, website, or ecommerce store is not an easy process. Mobile devices have changed the medium for accessing the internet, but mobile has changed why people access the internet. These two factors make evolving into the mobile word a difficult one with a strong consequence for a misstep: no one will be able to access you.
In developing a mobile strategy here are four things to consider:
Is your website mobile friendly? Having a website that is not only “viewable,” but also useable is critical to mobile success. Having a site that cannot be easily navigated excludes visitors from some functionality, reduces the use of your site, and creates a rather large turn off for many.
What might a mobile crowd want differently from a non-mobile crowd? Inherently, mobile users need different things than non-mobile users and expect to get them. Particularly mobile users expect:
- GPS integration to provide contextual information based on their location.
- “Quick dial” links for phone numbers so that the user doesn’t have to write down a number only to retype in their phone.
- Consistent navigation that can be “fat fingered” and still work properly.
- Minimal inputs required from a keyboard.
Can the same data be accessed on a computer? There is nothing worse than an app that has data that can only be seen on an app, or a website that can only be viewed on a computer. Being able to login with the same accounts and access the same data is a paramount of good mobile strategy.
To App or Not to App? An app provides a consistent interface for mobile devices that will likely run faster and more consistently then relying on a mobile friendly website. However, an app isn’t always the solution to an effective mobile strategy. Excluding games and productivity tools, a corporate or organizational app should include the following:
- Push capabilities to the end user. At the end of the day, an app that is just a regurgitation of a website isn’t very effective. However, if it provides real-time alerts that have some level of efficacy, then you can deem it to be more than just a reformatted website.
- Mobile component interactivity. All mobile devices have a distinct set of capabilities like GPS, cameras, accelerometers, and gyroscopes. If you are going to have an app, it should use at least one of these.
If the proposed app would not include any of these things, it may be better to save a few bucks and just ensure that your website is mobile friendly. If you do decide to produce and app, ensure that it is multi-platform capable. Not just Android or iOS, but also mobile phone and tablet.
The mobile market is no longer an emerging one. It’s taking over. Be sure to plan accordingly with your online presence.