HTML5 vs apps: Brands and mobile

Whilst the consumer market embraces the smartphone and mobile web it seems that demand and uptake levels have overtaken most industries ability to deliver mobile information effectively.

Foresee’s mCommerce report shows that many large web retailers mobile experience is still lacking when compared to their online capabilities. Even more damning is the IABs multi-screen marketer’s report; that lists customer dissatisfaction with mobile sites and apps at over 70%. This is bad news for businesses – 57% of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site and 40% will move to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.

That’s a lot of numbers, but the key point to take away from it is that having a site that simply works on mobile devices just won’t cut it anymore. Consumers want something that delivers the right information for that platform.

The IAB report also found most mobile internet browsing is done in the home, often whilst watching TV. Yahoo! reports around 8 out of 10 people “multi-screen” on TV and mobile. Many industries have yet to take advantage of this, yet every advertiser should be aware that any call to action they make in their TV ad could be answered immediately by people picking up their phone or tablet.

During a recent conversation with TV advertisers they were talking about “telling a story” with their campaign, but it stopped when the advert ended bar a few banner ads scattered across the internet. That story should be continued with a simple mobile microsite that keeps a consumer with your brand for a lot longer than the initial 30 second TV spot. In America the concept of companion apps for TV shows and DVD releases is becoming more popular and here in the UK apps like Zeebox bring a social experience to solo TV viewing.

Away from TV and home, our own analytics show how mobile devices are changing the way people access the internet. As part of a recent campaign we found that 70% of users respond to a call to action from emails received via mobile devices, which is really no great surprise. In order to capitalise on this brands need to ensure sites linked from emails such as these are mobile friendly and that the emails themselves stay readable even on the smallest mobile screens.

The prevalence of the smart phone has fundamentally changed the way we look at the internet. Users no longer wait until they are sat at their desk to check a mail or grab a laptop to see your latest deals and will instead pick up their phone to find what they need. Each time we look at a new campaign we ask one simple question, what are we asking the customer to do now? Just by considering this begins to inform us how to approach the mobile strategy and how we can use the phone in the customers hand to start thinking more about a client’s brand.

Mat Gallacher is Head of Technical Strategy at Mundocom.

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  • Matt Potter

    The fact that over 70% of customers are dissatisfied with mobile sites and apps should set alarm bells ringing in businesses with poorly optimised mobile offerings, as mobile shopping and browsing continues to grow in popularity.

    One crucial step that businesses should take is to aim for is continuity in messaging, starting with email, as this allows businesses to bring users into the sales funnel – a fundamental step on the way to conversion. For maximum impact, brands should then ensure that their entire end-to-end user experience is fully compatible with mobile.

    By not optimising for mobile users, businesses run the risk of missing out on significant amounts of revenue as growth in mobile email and browsing continues to increase rapidly, CheetahMail clients are seeing 100 percent year on year growth in emails read on mobile, and finding that the majority of opens take place on mobile devices. Eventually, taking no action will result in email activity as a whole being undermined, as businesses miss out on a wide section of customers.

    Matt Potter, Director of Product & Propositions at Experian Marketing Services