Mar. 21, 2012

Considering an App for Your Company? One Argument for a Mobile Website

As of late, mobile applications have made headlines across the tech industry. While plenty of smartphone owners are still downloading apps, a few companies have made waves regarding privacy concerns.

In February, iPhone applications Path and Hipster were called out for uploading address book information without the consent of users. Even Twitter came under fire for storing address books for eighteen months when users clicked the ‘Find Friends’ feature.

This month’s Mobile World Conference in Barcelona fired back over privacy concerns with new application guidelines crafted by the GSM Association. While this move represents a step in the right direction, a lot of businesses are wondering whether the coveted mobile app represents a positive strategy for them. (And privacy concerns are only the tip of the iceberg.)

Here’s the skinny: at a fraction of the price, you’re better off developing a mobile website that’s simple for your customers to use. Why complicate your mobile presence by tying yourself up in privacy concerns and expensive development?

If your business is considering development of a mobile application, ask yourself one crucial question:

Do we have a real value proposition for an application that requires functionality outside of a regular website?

Sure, there are positives to having your company brand on your customer’s device home-screen, but what motivation does the customer have to download the application in the first place? If you don’t have a strong value proposition that requires more capabilities than a well-designed mobile site, why spend the money?

We tend to get caught up in eye-grabbing, fancy, sparkly techniques when it comes to marketing. Leave that to the companies spending a million dollars on a Super Bowl ad. The best thing you can possibly do is to make it simple for your audience to find what they need. Developing a mobile website that’s easy to navigate on a small device is much more effective in driving sales.

Are you having a different experience with application development?

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