Mobile Website Design

Are you live on the mobile market?

What a mobile website is:

The use of mobile phones has become the main platform used by a majority of users across the U.S. as a communication medium (especially ages 15-35). According to the latest statistics there are more people who communicate through SMS than there are through email, and there are more people who own a mobile phone than credit cards or computers.

Naturally, this has led business owners to try and tap into this market. The main viable avenues which have gained a lot of popularity in the recent past are mobile applications (apps) and mobile-optimized websites. This has led to a debate in some circles, on which method is better, especially if you intend to use only one. iPhone apps have a clear advantage over mobile-optimized sites, in terms of the user the experience. However, this advantage does come at a higher cost especially when designing a cross platform web application. It is not hard to make a web app that is compatible with a number of smart phones (depending on the nature of the app), but making a native iPhone app that is compatible with other smart phones, like a blackberry or android based phone, you would have to do so from scratch.

Types of Apps:

Mobile apps can be categorized into two main types:

  • Apps built to generate direct income.
  • Apps built for marketing, customer service or branding.

We have all heard stories of an enterprising developer who created a web app in their spare time, and as a result, generated enough income from it to quit their day job. The income generated from an app can come from sales, subscriptions or even through advertising. If you plan on charging for your mobile app then a native app is the only way to go. This is because on line media stores, like iTunes™ (the store for iPhone™ and iPad), will not integrate iTunes™ billing for mobile websites. This is a big limitation considering the huge ready market of 150 million mobile users, accessible through the iTunes store, and the instant payment methods. If you were to charge for access to your mobile website, you would have to come up with your own payment solution, which is not an easy thing to do.

Therefore, as far as mobile-optimized sites are concerned, the best viable option for their use is in marketing, customer service or branding. One of the best examples of this type of media is the target store and Starbucks apps. These apps are often free, since their main aim is to distribute them as much as possible. But if you are to make this type of app, how many customers and prospects can you possibly reach? 

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The Outreach of Different Mobile Channels

According to comScore’s 2010 mobile marketing share report, around 68 percent of American cell phone subscribers send text messages. But in terms of user experience, mobile apps and sites still reign supreme. But what reach of the market, can you access through these two mediums? For mobile websites, the best indicator of market reach is the number of users who browse the web through their mobile phones. According to statistics done in the later part of 2011, approximately 47 percent of mobile phone users in the USA, browse the web through their phones. The data on mobile apps are a bit more spread out, in terms of the mobile phone used. Native apps are engineered to work on specific phones; iPhone apps for the iPhone, blackberry apps for the blackberry and so forth.

In the North American market, the most common platforms used by users are the iOS, Blackberry and Android. The market share of mobile users for each platform is:

Android: 7.75 %
Blackberry: 8.53%
IPhone: 6.75%

Together, these figures sum up to a total of 23% of the market share. When we take a closer look at the individual slices of the mobile app market, you can only hope to reach less than 7 percent of the market through the iPhone. If you want to reach across the three platforms, you would have to develop three individualized mobile apps, which means triple the costs. But if you’re primary concern is marketing, then you need to consider whether cost involved matches up to the benefits achieved.

Cost of Apps

There is no such thing as a general app, so it’s hard to come up with a meaningful standard cost. But if you were to take a stab at it, you should expect to part with at least 30,000 dollars, to design, implement and launch a first class iPhone app. You can also expect to face similar costs, when designing an app for a Blackberry or Android based device. If you were to compare the cost of creating a native mobile app, able to reach 80% of the smart phone user base, as compared to the cost of developing a web app, able to reach 90% of smart phone users, you are more than likely to see costs double, triple or quadruple (depending on the app).

In some circumstances, this cost may be justifiable; due to the quality achieved and a more engaging user experience. Big enterprising organizations like nationwide retail stores and consumer banks can justify the cost in terms of return on investment, but for small scale business owners, it may not be the best approach towards marketing.

The Return on Investment

If we were to use a conservative estimate of 234 million mobile users, we find that the reach of users per dollar:

Mobile websites: 2839 users/ 1 dollar spend
IPhone apps: 526 users/ 1 dollar spend
Blackberry, android and iOS: 599users/ 1 dollar spend

*We don't include on this example windows mobile phones, which they using the same applications like your normal website does.

This means that you can reach nearly five times as many people, per dollar, through a mobile website than you would through an app.

What we can do for you:

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The Web Empire can create the right solution for your mobile strategy. Either if you have a website now or you plan to create one, we can analyze what your needs are according to your target market, your products or services and how possible it is to transform your whole vision into a mobile eye-catching solution. You can choose, after beign given specific examples, if you will create a new mobile website, an App or both and for what Operating Systems.

Mobile market is out there and it's huge but at the same time it's risky and you should be aware of that. We know what's going on, we deliver results and offer many options to choose from.

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