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Archive for the ‘Mobile Sites’ Category

Mobile Matters

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Food for thought: 330 Million Americans using some 200 Million smartphone devices who tend to use their smartphone as ones ‘life remote’.  A May 2014 study from Google revealed near 60% of consumers use Google search every month to find ‘local’ information in which 1 in 5 local searches leads to an in-store purchase.  These numbers are climbing as I’m certain you’ve stood in line at a retail spot or grocer noticing someone around you scouting a better online deal than what’s in front of them.

smartphones-everywhere

This is a telling tale as to the present consumer experience with less than 1 in 10 websites being built mobile responsive with a mindful multi-screen strategy approach to your customers.  Without a strategic digital approach your organization might be one of the many who don’t enjoy being a part of the 61% mobile searches leading to a warm phone call inquiring about your product or service – locally.

Why does this matter?  Interconnectivity.  While you may not buy the latest smart washing machine or smart fridge just yet, the world around you is!  CISCO forecasts some 30+ Billion through to as high as 65+ billion connected smart devices which will blanket our world over the course of the next 5 years!  Imagine every consumer touch point digitized and analyzed by Marketing Technologists [like us] who use this information to give you precisely the right product and service at the moment you are looking for that product or service.  Furthermore, when this “Eco-System” captures your smartphone movements (either in your hand, in your pocket, or in your car), enticing you to purchase what you already want through couponing has been found to compound in-store traffic.  This, a marketers holy grail, is here upon us now.

Macy’s rolled out their iBeacon pilot test through 2014.  After review, Kent Anderson, president of Macy’s said, “The customer who gets more engaged in more of the channels that Macy’s has to offer gives us more wallet share.”  This truism applies to your best customers too!

What’s next?  As the beacon environment stabilizes, this micro-location targeting technology will boost local economies.  Those groups that pull together to collect, share and market to their local business ecosystems directly will benefit greatest here!  It’s no secret shopping local returns twice the economic value than in shopping at multinational entities who currently house over $1.6 Trillion dollars offshore outside of the USA.

As technology adapts and accelerates, I hope you and your organization has a strategic marketing technology plan to leverage one of the greatest opportunities in the last century and half – what’s your part of the $15+ trillion digital economy will you are hoping to capture?  Better yet – are you prepared?

Responsive Design vs Mobile Websites vs Mobile Apps

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

My goodness technology moves fast!  Only 2 years ago I was blogging about the difference between mobile websites and mobile apps.  Today responsive design is adding a whole new consideration for your website project.   Many aren’t sure of the differences between these mobile approaches to marketing.  Before you can choose the type of mobile experience you want to build, you need to consider your audience.  If they are viewing your website on a mobile phone, do they want the same experience and information you offer on your main website?  Chances are they are accessing your mobile website for a completely different reason than they would your main website. 

For example, your website may contain a lot of content  the average visitor wouldn’t want to try to consume on a mobile device.  In that case you may want to consider having a small mobile website that provides the most pertinent information about your business, the easiest ways to reach you, and then provide a link to your main website.  Or your typical visitor may want to be able to interact with your company and save account information on their mobile device.  In that case you may want to think about a mobile app. 

Once you have assessed how mobile visitors will want to interact with you, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Responsive Design
This is a newer approach to web design where your website will sort of “morph” to fit the devices accessing it.  In other words, your main website (and all its content) will be optimized for viewing on desktops, tablets and mobile phones.  Depending on the nature of your website it can be tricky to make it responsive and may add a lot of additional development time.  This option may not be viable for websites using some ecommerce or content management frameworks.  But when responsive design is indicated and it’s pulled off correctly, it can be a great asset to your users.

An example of responsive design: www.bostonglobe.com
(view on your desktop, tablet and mobile phone to see how the website re-sizes itself)


Mobile Website
This approach works well when your audience needs an abbreviated version of your website, and is most likely accessing it on-the-go.  When your website detects someone is accessing it with a mobile phone, it automatically serves the visitor with a separate mobile website.  The website is usually found on a sub-domain (e.g., m.webaddress.com), in a folder of the main website (e.g., webaddress.com/mobile) or on a separate URL (e.g., webaddress.mobi).  You typically want to give visitors the option to view your main website if they choose.

An example of a mobile website: http://m.cnn.com


Mobile App

A mobile app is developed for mobile phone platforms like iPhone and Android, and must be downloaded onto the phone from an app store.  Mobile apps have capabilities that mobile websites don’t, so there can be advantages to using a mobile app if you need to interact with your visitors in a unique way that can’t be accomplished easily (or at all) with a mobile site.  Because there are many different mobile phones with various operating systems, mobile apps can be very expensive to develop and maintain.  Every time a new operating system is released (which happens often–this is technology we’re talking about here!) you will need to update your app.  An ongoing budget will also be required for bug fixing.

An example of an app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cnn.mobile.android.phone

 

So remember:  consider your audience and how they are interacting with you; consider the technologies you need; and then choose the right strategy for your mobile properties.  Your visitors will love you for it!