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Which Should Milton Keynes Businesses Choose, A Mobile App Or Mobile Phone Website?

One of the biggest challenges and confusions that exists for many businesses in Milton Keynes and elsewhere is whether they should go down the route of a mobile App or mobile phone website.

But it’s not surprising there’s so much confusion when even the biggest players in the marketing still appear to be scratching their heads on how best to leverage the phenomenal growth of mobile web traffic. So this article will address some of the key factors that a business owners ought to consider before taking the plunge one way or the other.

First, one has to understand the typical behaviour of a mobile user and how they use their mobile device on a daily basis. This is where we tread into unknown territory because there’s no historical precedent given how very new this type of technology is. Which is why so many are confused over the choice of a mobile app or mobile phone website.  However, there are now numerous research papers, reports and studies that have looked at the behavioral patterns of mobile users. So we know a lot more today than we did even just 12 months ago.

We know for example that mobile users are typically on-the-go and as a result tend to use their phones on a grab-and-go basis as and when the desire arises. Contrast that with a desktop user which requires a person to boot up the computer and physically sit in one place while they undertake the typical task at hand, whether that’s to research a particular topic of interest or do some market research on the best digital TV to buy. It’s a much deeper and focused experience. A mobile user on the other hand is typically not expected to undertake this level of engagement to search for information. They frequently know what it is they are looking for and are ready to engage or buy goods or services.

Understanding this goes a long way into ascertaining whether a mobile app is preferable to a mobile phone website. In fact a Nielson mobile research report studied the behaviour of 5000 US volunteers during the 2011 holiday season and found some interesting insights into mobile use.

Nielson Study Looks At Consumer Preference:  Mobile App Or Mobile Phone Website

Smartphone owners of both genders prefer retailers’ mobile websites over mobile apps, with men slightly more likely to try retailers’ mobile apps than women. However, consumers who use retailers’ mobile apps tend to spend more time on them.

Target and Walmart skew female when it comes to their mobile websites, while Best Buy skews male. Amazon and eBay appeal to both genders.

All of the top 5 mobile retail websites experienced a “bump” during the days leading up to and following Black Friday, led by Amazon. This seasonal lift did not translate into an increase in regular usage, however. By January, active reach was back to October 2011 levels.

“Retailers need to think of their business as a multi-channel environment that can potentially include mobile, online, and bricks and mortar stores,” said Burbank. “Winning with shoppers requires a consistent experience across channels that reinforces the values you represent as a retail brand, whether it be price, service, reviews, selection, style, or other key attributes.” You Can read the full article here.

Which Is More Popular a Mobile app or mobile phone website?

We understand enough about the behavioral habits of a mobile consumer to know that the decision is not whether a business should opt for a mobile app or mobile phone website but how the business intends to use the mobile app or mobile phone website to engage with its customers.

For example, if a business has a very large database of repeat customers and their services are such that their existing customers would get added value in having an app on their phone, then there are certainly strong grounds for that business to go down the app route. But do also bear in mind that there needs to be sufficient incentive for your existing customers to download your app onto their mobile device.

Mobile apps are not searched for by mobile consumers who are for example looking for an airport taxi service in their area. Mobile apps therefore have a different role to play as they are geared towards improving existing customer’s engagement with the business. However, just because a business has a mobile app it should not be assumed that the business is now mobile friendly.

Being mobile friendly does not just mean giving a good mobile experience to some of your customers and neglecting the significant number of other potential mobile customers who are searching for the goods or services that you offer but who still have to struggle with accessing content on your regular website.

Businesses therefore really don’t have an option whether to have a mobile website because their potential customers don’t go to app stores to look for an app in order to buy goods and services from a particular business. As the above extract article reveals, more people still browse the web on their mobile than use a vendor’s app when searching for goods and services.

For that reason alone if businesses want to be found by mobile customers and to be able to tap into this fast growing web traffic, you like need a mobile phone website whether or not you also opt for a mobile app.

If you should have any particular questions on whether to go with a mobile app or mobile phone website, or should you wish to discuss your company’s particular needs, give us a call today and speak with one of our mobile marketing strategists.

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