Promoting small and medium businesses through mobile apps is the order of the day. But while everyone is jumping the bandwagon, you might want to pause for a bit, think through your mobile strategy and then take a call on how you want to develop you business using mobile platforms.
Here are some tips that may help you in developing your business through mobile platforms!
Define the real objective behind developing a mobile site
There’s no reason to assume that your business mandatorily needs a mobile platform. Can your potential customers be converted into leads because of a real time search? Is your target audience literate enough to browse though mobile apps for your business or would a mobile website suffice? Are hefty budgets and long approval periods for your apps going to be worth it?
Think about all these questions and the real objective behind developing your business though mobile platforms. The mobile platform needs of a life insurance provider and a local restaurant are going to be significantly different!
Make use of existing resources
Before you start developing your business though mobile platforms, check if you are using your existing social media effectively. There’s a tremendous amount of momentum that you can generate through Twitter, Facebook and FourSquare alone. You can use existing traffic on your social media to be routed to your mobile platforms too.
In terms of content, you may choose to stick to simplicity and interactivity from the existing layout of your website. Most mobile platforms for businesses are meant to bring quick information, scale usability and create brand connections through interactivity. If you are a local restaurant, don’t hesitate in sticking to simple information like location, menu, bookings and pictures for your mobile platform.
Make your mobile platform cross functional
If you are taking the efforts to tailor your mobile platforms to specific customer needs, you might as well go the extra mile and make sure that it works on iPhone, Android and other smartphone platforms.
Do thorough research on what browsers your customers use, how often they log in through the day and what average loading time does your competitor’s mobile platform has. Consider using technologies like HTML5 which essentially can be ported across platforms and other options that help you create an app-like appearance without consuming the budgets of an app.
Also, you must not forget to give leads to your full website on desktop format. If your mobile platform has managed to hook a user, you don’t want to lose him/her by not giving them an opportunity to browse through your full website in detail, right?
Interface considerations for your mobile site
Your entire mobile strategy must be geared according to the user experience for smartphones. The way a side scroll or a tap is experienced by users is very different than a click. It is not just about transferring your existing website on a mobile. You need to make sure that your file sizes are not too high, loading times don’t put off users, your text is placed at specific points and you follow a single column format for increased clarity and interactivity.
Even small things like using side scrolls to optimize space, using collapsible text boxes or animation signs for turning pages or showing loading times can be critical in retaining users.
Measure the success of your mobile platforms
Most businesses end up investing in mobile platforms for their business but don’t measure how successful it is. It’s not going to be as simple as seeing how many times your app has been downloaded or how many visitors your mobile website has per day, using popular Analytics frameworks. You might want to use specific frameworks for measuring customer engagement or an open text feedback system to check that you have tailored your mobile platform to serve specific objectives instead of merely having mobile presence.
Remember, thinking through these small nuances will go a long way in determining the kind of budgets you require for developing your business through mobile platform.
Do you have any tips to share with our readers? Let us know…