Mobile use is rising internationally, with smartphones sporting superfast connectivity now being harnessed for web browsing, entertainment and communication in greater numbers than ever before.
As such businesses cannot afford to ignore this type of device when seeking to market themselves online. And a new report from Oracle Mobile has put the importance of app in particular into perspective.
The report focuses on the way that millennials use their portable devices to engage with brands and businesses, focusing on consumers under the age of 35 and thus allowing predictions about the ongoing evolution of marketing and e-commerce to be made.
About half of the respondents to the study said that if they encountered a business’ mobile app and were dissatisfied with the user experience, they would be dissuaded from engaging with the company in the future.
This means that in many ways the mobile presence of a company is its new storefront; the first place that many potential customers will deal with it and thus the area in which it is important to focus optimisation efforts.
The global study found that 73 per cent of millennials have used a mobile app to make an online purchase in the past, while almost 40 per cent said that a bad app experience would prevent them from recommending a business or brand to friends and family. This means that working on apps is crucial to the long term success of a business.
Of course apps are not the only source of customer engagement today and in many cases people will actually be more likely to encounter a brand primarily through its website, before going on to use other channels to carry out transactions or explore offerings further.
The upshot of this is that businesses are being urged to optimise their websites to ensure that whether they are accessed from a desktop PC, smartphone or tablet they can provide the full suite of services without encountering compatibility issues.
Relying on a separate mobile site is no longer the best way of going about this, as responsive web design is not only a more effective alternative but is also being taken into account by Google’s latest search engine algorithm update.
Businesses which cannot update the underlying framework of a website to make it responsive themselves will need to seek the help of professionals. From websites that have a basic platform to more advanced sites with their own membership management system built in like those produced by http://www.ofec.co.uk/membership-management-systems.aspx.
Ideally businesses will want to create both a mobile optimised website with responsive design as well as a standalone app which is available on popular operating systems including Android and iOS. But since mobile browsing and search queries are growing at such a rate, it is best to prioritise the website first and foremost in order to avoid being rendered redundant by changing trends.