A lot of words and statistics can be used to build the case that mobile devices have grown and continue to grow into one of the most popular technological advancements. Just window shopping would convince the most hesitant among us. And as with all new developments, the speed with which these new developments are improved and made more accessible, is directly proportional to their popularity. As a result, mobile is changing and improving… FAST!
For business marketing, an online presence is an ongoing progress from the days, a little while ago, of just having اعوجاج a website, which progressed into a mobile website, to developing an online social presence, and to now developing your own mobile app. Many large businesses have been in the mobile app marketing arena for a little bit. They realized the many benefits and conveniences mobile apps provided their customers and, with proper management, the increased revenue and customer loyalty they would gain. They also had the resources to fund the exorbitant development costs required to manufacture a custom native app for all the mobile platforms and made it possible to still do it cost effectively.
Technology marches on! Today, mobile apps are no longer in a matter of the reach of the largest corps. For the purpose of this article, we will not get bogged down in the technical difference between custom native apps, mobile web apps, hybrid apps, mobile websites, etal. The focus is going to be on the amount appears to be the best option for small businesses. Whatever target… an exceptional User Experience (now commonly referred to as UX), easily managed content and budget.
There is no one best solution for every type of business out there. There are positives and negatives to the mobile options. The key is choosing the right fit, ie., the option that provides the greatest number of benefits to the business and their customers, at the best price. After doing the research, it’s difficult to provide an self-sufficient presentation of these facts when the best option for most small businesses is so clear. In short, the engaging customer features available, the simplicity of complete control of the content and the affordable price, the native mobile app built using a template (NMAT) is the next best marketing tool, to improve the bottom line and increase customer loyalty.
To be clear, custom built native apps that are built from the ground up, require hand html coding for each app on each mobile platform, Apple, Mobile, etc. This is a very expensive process. Coders are very well paid and the effect provides for a great, custom, UX. The new alternative, NMAT, is building an app using an already coded template system that can be customized in character, function and content. This option provides similar features as the custom app, to choose from, at a fraction of the cost, with a very similar UX and can be totally controlled on-line.
Here is a quick look at the comparison of benefits between mobile website and native apps.
Device Features — Apps have full access to all of a mobile devices capabilities including camera, GPS, data storage, etc. for the best UX. Mobile websites surely have limited access.
User Installation — No installation required for mobile websites. A bit of motivation is required to search and find a mobile business app. In the gaming industry, this should not be an obstruction. Most customers will be motivated to find your app to benefit from the content including offers and discounts.
Speed — A mobile app is much faster a mobile website creating a better UX.
Owner Maintenance — The maintenance of a NMAT is much simpler these days with the app hosted in the cloud. Online Content Management System Dashboards (CMSD), allow clients to change the content of their app and send messages 24/7. Custom native apps are much more complicated to update. Mobile website are updated as easily as a web page.
Off-line Functioning — Without a wifi or cell service connection, mobile websites are not accessible. Native apps have off-line accessibility providing them with the edge in this category.
Development Costs — Custom native apps are extremely expensive. Both Mobile websites and NMAT’s involve the least cost and are very inexpensive. Possibly with future technological advancements, mobile apps for small businesses may go the way of betamax, and mobile websites may overcome many of their current flaws and become the dominate mobile format. But for now, and probably for the foreseeable future, native apps are the best marketing tool available for small businesses. For maximum benefit, your app can be used in conjunction with your mobile website and gain additional user benefits such as the ability for customers to log in to their personal accounts.
Now to the good part. Here’s a look at what benefits a mobile app can bring to your business and your customers. The facility of the mobile app to engage and communicate with the purchasers, is in it’s features.
Mobile App Benefits
The features that you can buy that can be built in an app is what ‘powers’ the benefits and makes it such a perfect fit for small businesses. In addition to the traditional report on your businesses’ general information including facility amenities, packages, event calendars, contact info and directions, etc. that you would find on any standard mobile website, apps offer features that better engage customers and fully utilize their mobile devices capabilities making for a very personal and fulfilling UX… that they’re going to want to share. To be clear and further illustrate the benefits of an app over a mobile website, this summary of features will include only those that are available in a mobile app format, and not a mobile website. There are dozens of features available for businesses to choose from to use in their app. We will be at just some of the more beneficial ones here.