As the use of mobile phones continues to grow, the way in which we consume mobile content falls into two camps; mobile websites and mobile apps. But what is the difference? And which should we, as business, marketers or developers, be looking to use as we move into the mobile web?
Generally speaking, mobile websites are the cheaper option for businesses moving into mobile. However, simply streamlining your desktop content and putting it into a smartphone format isn’t enough to really engage the end user; good mobile websites will utilise added functionality, such as pinch-and-zoom, and a restructured navigation to provide an optimised, bespoke mobile experience. Examples worth looking at include the NSPCC and Google’s mobile homepage.
Mobile apps are typically the more expensive option, both in terms of set up and maintenance cost, and for that reason charities must ensure their offering is suitable to an app to get the best return on investment.
The most successful mobile apps are those which provide a practical use, such as a navigation tool or a recipe finder. Other successful mobile apps are highly customisable and interactive; these apps work because they integrate software on the user’s handset and provide them with a personalised experience they can return to again and again. Good apps will also be recommended by users to their friends and, through this, provide an excellent opportunity for brand building.
There’s no need to rush in…
Mobile phones continue to grow in popularity every day, with users increasingly making use of mobile websites and apps; that means they’re not going anywhere fast and there’s no need to rush into a mobile presence.
By taking the time to consider a long term mobile strategy, businesses can not only refine their offering to provide a better experience for their audience, but also give staff and supporters time to better understand the benefits of mobile and how it can work for them.