Take a look around. How many people do you see interacting with their smart phone? Odds are there’s at least one. Ten years ago staring into a four inch piece of plastic smiling to yourself would be cause for concern, but these days it’s pretty much socially accepted behavior. Those of us old enough to remember when “mobile” phone meant a really long cord may think mobile web browsers look ridiculous, but how do we look to them? One thing to consider in this age of smart phones is how your web presence appears on a mobile device?
Most mobile friendly websites either direct visitors to download a native application onto their smart phones or have an alternate version of their website that displays when it detects a mobile device. Deciding between these two options really depends on your preference, but when used effectively they have the same result: helping you sell.
A mobile website is essentially a stripped down duplicate of your website tailored for mobile devices. Because so many mobile users rely on slow and expensive data plans to receive their web content you want to ensure they have to download as little data as possible. This means fewer images, less design and fewer branding opportunities. Most mobile users would prefer to get the pared down version of something quickly, rather than wait for the whole package.
If you’re looking to provide for the whole experience for your customer, then a downloadable app may be the way to go. Once downloaded, an app runs directly from the smart phone, so there is no worrying about data plans or an image heavy design. The only limit is your imagination, and of course your budget. Apps can be expensive to build and they require regular updates, which will be an additional expense. To get the most out of your investment, you need an app that will give your clients and potential clients a tool that they will use on regular basis. They get something that makes their life easier or more enjoyable while you get regular marketing access to your customer base.
Which of these two options you choose is up to you, but with over 1 billion mobile Internet users worldwide, you can’t ignore the rising tide of people accessing your content from a mobile device. The mobile revolution is coming, how are you going to respond?