We all know mobile use is reaching new heights all the time, but how does this affect your business? One of the core things to know is how you will accommodate mobile consumers; we’ve summed it up below.
One of the basic questions is whether to invest in a mobile app, mobile website, or both. The basic purpose of both is to make content accessible on mobile devices. Mobile apps and mobile websites often function similarly but are in fact quite different.
A mobile website is browser-based and can be accessed by the Internet, using Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G networks. The content on mobile sites are made so that you can view images, video, and data on your handheld device as you would any other website on a regular desktop or laptop.
Mobile apps, on the other hand, require a downloaded application using operating system specific portals, such as Apple’s App Store or Android’s Market. The mobile application then pulls information directly from the Internet or will download a version that allows you to view content without directly accessing the Internet each time you want to view the information.
Which is Best?
According to articles written by the Neilson Norman Group and Human Service Solutions you’re going to get more “bang for your buck” with a mobile website. We agree. As smartphones and tablets become mainstream, they will process and present more dynamic content via a browser without the need for standalone apps.
This 2011 article by Hospitality eBusiness Strategies, addresses specific considerations, including:
- Boundaries between mobile apps and mobile browsing are disappearing
- Creating a mobile-friendly website is more affordable and efficient
- A properly developed mobile site is a cross-platform site that can be viewed easily on iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, etc; whereas apps will need to be cross-functionally tested and developed
- Mobile sites aren’t as likely to get buried in the app static (there are over 1, 500,000* apps out there!)
- Create textual and visually-pleasing content that presents your hotel products and services succinctly for easier viewing on small screens
- Use intelligent mobile navigation – how would your typical guest click through your site?
- Make your mobile website more interactive with social and dynamic content like giveaways, contests, etc.
- Integrate dynamic mobile marketing (such as such as email campaigns, scavenger hunts, or code promotions) with traditional campaigns
- Track and evaluate mobile user behavior to make necessary enhancements as you grow your mobile strategy
Is your website compatible with mobile yet? If not, how soon will you be adopting mobile-friendly technology?
Learn more about mobile:
- The Future of Hotel Technology | Part I: Mobile Apps
- The Future of Hotel Technology | Part II: The Proliferation of Mobile Devices
- The Future of Hotel Technology | Part VII: Mobile POS
*Retrieved January 8, 2013, from http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57542502-94/google-ties-apple-with-700000-android-apps/