Most of us are aware of mobile applications given the increasing number of us who have smartphones. Whether we are iPhone users or one of the ever increasing users of Android, mobile internet is fast becoming an addiction. The dramatic increase in the number of mobile applications has prompted many businesses to jump to the conclusion that they need an app. My opinion on that is that whilst your business may benefit from an app, you don’t necessarily need one because your first consideration should be to mobile enable your web site.
The proliferation of mobile devices and the growth of mobile internet are opening up vast opportunities for businesses to target customers more effectively, generate new revenue streams and leverage the power of mobile. With this rise in mobile internet and the number of consumers with internet enabled phones, the opportunities for businesses extend much further than apps covering a suite of mobile offerings including mobile web sites, mobile vouchers, mobile messaging and the like.
Businesses often aim to reach as wide an audience as possible, so I think you would agree that building applications that reach only some smartphone users would not be ideal. As not everyone has an iPhone, or an Android phone for that matter, this can be the case and when you take into account the expense and time required to build an app it is not something that should be jumped into. Don’t get me wrong, apps certainly have their place and they offer many benefits to businesses, however, if you are looking to start embracing mobile a much more cost effective way to reach a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of building an app is to mobile enable your web site.
Another point to note is that mobile web sites are now being created that have a very similar look and feel to applications so there are further benefits there. While you may decide that an app is appropriate for your business down the track, firstly concentrate on mobile enabling your web site as it will allow your brand to reach and engage with your entire target audience at a fraction of the cost.