Mobile commerce is here to stay. Want evidence? Statistics showed by 2013, m-commerce drove sales by $200 million [please give citation for this]. The numbers will continue to increase as more businesses realizethe need to offer an app of their own to win over other 3rd party providers and sustain their lead in the competitive landscape.
While businesses quickly adapted to the concept of e-commerce, it is time to embrace m-commerce. A Google Think Insights study reported that in the US, 93% of consumers that have researched a product via mobile device will make a purchase [please give citation for this]. It is reported that only a mere 7% of brands offer a mobile app. Shocking, isn’t it? Yet this could be seen as an excellent opportunity to gain a foothold before everybody jumps on the “mobile app bandwagon.”
So, retailers buckle up and put together a strategy to start on. Here’s a list of essentials for you to think about:
Building a Native App
Building a native app could be a smart option for uncompromised performance, irrespective of the mobile device type. This could typically involve more developers, time and costs but it may be well worth it. An application has to be written more than once if a native app approach is chosen.
Native apps undoubtedly load faster, perform better and make use of the mobile features more effectively. They score in terms of the looks and satisfy user expectations better.
Again be informed, this could be an expensive affair. Make sure you havea clear cut plan on who your target audience (the type of mobile device) will be, and for whom the app solution is targeted. Also, on the availability of skilled developers, HTML developers are more prevalent than others.
If HTML is what you canafford…
Testing a non-native appunder rigorous conditions is a way to ensure a reasonably good performance. Though the HTML5 does ‘wrap’ them with native codes, it does not mean there are no gaps. The flexibility to adapt to any device/OS also means weaknesses and gaps also exist. Hence, test, test & test.
Also consider a mobile optimized website
Responsive websites are big business right now – and for good reason. Before even including a mobile app into your strategy, include mobile optimized website.This is a win-win option for both the retailer and the consumer. Apps have to be refreshed and updated and may require regular version upgrades, as well; whereas in case of mobile websites, the updates are just on the backend. On the consumer side, there is a direct visibility and more contents to browse, giving a wholesome picture of the brand and the organization. This adds credibility and trust in the consumers mind.
Given all the considerations, today’s consumer being spoilt for choice, having an app gives you the added advantage. Yet a clarity of what to have, why to have and how much to offer is critical.