- Of the 4 billion mobile phones in use, just over 1 billion are now smartphones.
- Apple has over 400,000 mobile apps available; Android has over 200,000 available.
- In 2010, there were 8.2 billion downloads of mobile apps and that number is expected to grow to 17 billion in 2011.
- The mobile Internet is expected to overtake the PC as the most popular way to get on the Web within five years.
Regardless of whether or not your company has entered the mobile arena, your customers probably have. One of the first choices for any company considering going mobile is where to start. Should you develop a mobile app, a mobile website, or a combination of both? There is no right or wrong answer and it all depends on your business and what works best for your customers. However, here are a few points to consider:
- A well-designed app can provide a far better user experience than most mobile websites are capable of at this point.
- An app can make use of the smartphone device features (GPS, camera, calendar, etc.).
- The cost of developing an app is typically more expensive than developing a mobile website. A separate app needs to be built for each device you want to support – iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, Windows, etc.
- A mobile website can be built once and used by most of your customers, regardless of the mobile device they are using.
So what has been the most common approach up to this point? According to a study from Acquity Group on mobile adoption by top retailers, the mobile website is more common, but there has been significant increase in both approaches. The number of retailers providing a mobile optimized site increased from 12% to 37%, and those providing a mobile app increased from 7% to 26% — all in the past year!
At Central, we’ve chosen to develop a mobile app for our myCentral® website. Has your company gone mobile? If so, which approach did you take? Tell me how your mobile strategy is working for you!