More and more of our interaction online occurs on mobile devices. Over five billion mobile subscribers – about 77% of the world’s population – are online (Source: The International Telecommunication Union). This new type of simple access for consumers is catching on with a staggering amount of smartphone owners purchasing goods and services from their phone – 41% to be exact, as found in a survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey, 2011.
So how do you capitalize on this new mobile technology? The answer is relatively simple: set up a mobile application and/or set up your website to be natively friendly to mobile browsing.
Mobile Apps are internet applications designed to run on smartphones and other mobile devices. According to webopedia.com, mobile applications help users by connecting them to Internet services more commonly accessed on desktop or notebook computers. While opportunities abound, we have identified three advantages of using mobile apps for your business: speed, volume of information, and advertising.
Let’s face it, we live in a not-so-patient society. We know what we want and we want it now. Most of us can’t count the times we have sat waiting for our computers to take over one minute to boot up and have found our patience tested. Mobile Apps take the “wait” out of mobile. Since most, if not all, of the information is stored within the application, there’s no need to wait on loading information over a slow 3G connection. Plus, what little information needs to be updated can be done in the background, allowing you to access other information while you wait on the app to load. In fact, mobile apps are becoming so functional and popular among consumers, a Forrester Research report (FORR) predicted that by 2015, nearly half of all corporate-issued devices will be mobile!
Here in the US, we’re tied down by our internet speeds. While technologies for “4G” networks are growing, we’re still years behind other countries like Japan. For now, it’s just not feasible to store all your information on the internet. Mobile Apps, however, are great for storing larger amounts of information, such as videos and catalogues. And since the information is stored within the app, the user’s experience will be greatly enhanced.
Bulletin Board advertising has been long rampant. But how effective is it? Like most people, you will likely forget the majority of billboards you pass on the way to your home or office. Mobile Apps, however, provide a form of advertising that you can carry in your pocket. The good news for business owners is that this new form of marketing via mobile apps is growing fast with no sign of slowing down. Consider the fact that in 2009, a mere 23% of people owned smartphones, compared to today’s 35% (Source: Neilson). This means that one-third of Americans have the potential to be reached through mobile devices, creating a world of advertising possibilities for business owners to seize.