Mobile Web Advantage #1: The Mobile Web Builds on Existing HabitsJuly 27th, 2011 by Trilibis Blogging Team
Last week we launched the first in a series of posts exploring the benefits of mobile websites. This second post dives into one such benefit: The Mobile Web Builds on Existing Habits.
One common decision that a business faces when deploying a mobile strategy is whether it should place a higher priority on developing a native smartphone application or on creating a mobile website. One of the key advantages of having a mobile website is that it allows you to capitalize on the existing behavior of your customers because of the similarities in user experience between the mobile and the tethered web.
For example, consumers are accustomed to opening their Firefox or Safari browsers and typing the URL to get to a website on the PC-based web. They are also accustomed to searching for information via a keyword within a search engine. Likewise, it is easy to enter a URL into a mobile browser or search by keyword using Google or Bing on a mobile device. In contrast, the process to search for and discover an application in the App Store, download it, sign up, and finally use the app is quite cumbersome.
Bookmarking is another task that is similar across mobile and PC-web, requiring only several clicks. In fact, iPhone users can sync their bookmarks to their PC. Android users can also sync bookmarks to the PC, as well as directly with Google Chrome, thus enabling a truly seamless cross-platform browsing experience. From a marketer’s perspective, giving customers the ability to interact with your brand in a familiar format is highly desirable.
The similarities don’t end here – they extend to the type of information that consumers seek. The Internet has long been used as a tool for looking up answers quickly: which nearby pizza place is open or what time the latest blockbuster is playing? Users need the same type of quick and relevant information when they are out and about – no time to download an app when you have someplace to be!
Consumers, also, often use the PC-based web for price comparison or product reviews when they’re in the process of making a purchasing decision. According to Compete (@Compete), 70% of consumers are “likely” or “very likely” to research a product online before making an in-store purchase. Modeling this behavior, 46% of consumers have used their phone to get product information while in a store, and 47% have accessed customer reviews while in a store, according to Digby (@digbymobile). Other mobile uses include hunting for coupons and checking if a product is in-stock – also typical behavior when a consumer is about to make a purchase decision. Furthermore, it seems that capitalizing on this user behavior is effective for businesses. According to Google, 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase as a result of using their smartphones while shopping, and 88% of those who search for local information on their smartphone take action within 1 day. Pretty impressive numbers. Mobile web, anyone?