App and/or Mobile Web A Simple Guide To Choosing the Right Mobile Medium for Your BusinessPrepared by:Ariela Freed, Digital Media Director, Maritz Canada
Purpose of This DocumentAs a rapidly increasing number of businesses address the mobileexperience a question that persists is: should we build anapplication or a mobile site?Both have their advantages and challenges. Therefore like any(digital) media decision it depends on a company’s objectives,the consumers’ profile or persona and/or the competitivelandscape.This document aims to review the three mobile solution typesand acts as an aid to the decision-making process.
To Start, Some Definitions1. App aka Downloadable Mobile Application:Software that is downloaded onto a user’s mobile device which may not requiremobile Internet access to function. The software has the ability to integratewith core (native) functionality and features of the mobile device, i.e. camera,calendar, gyroscope etc.2. Mobile Web:Sites that are accessed on the internet using a device’s browser. Mobile-friendlysites are formatted and designed for a user experience on a mobile device.Sites have limited access to a device’s functionality or features.3. Hybrids:HTML5-coded applications that combine the rich user interface of an app andthe cross-platform accessibility of a website.
Canadian Smartphone Owners Are Heavy Users of Mobile Media Mobile Subscribers Smartphone Subscribers 90% 80% 70% 85% 60% 50% 40% 76% 30% 59% 20% 46% 41% 69% 36% 31% 10% 0% Used Downloaded Used Browser Used Email Accessed Social Application Network/BlogSource: Comscore Mobilens, Total Canada Mobile Smartphone Subscribers, 13+, Dec. 2011
People Are Spending More Time on Mobile Apps Than Web App vs. Web Consumption Measured in Minutes per DaySource: Flurry, Comscore, Alexa. Published March 2012
Consumers Have Distinct Preferences For Accessing Information (note: availability of apps and/or mobile websites could account for some Shop 27% 73% discrepancy) Search 37% 63% Entertain 40% 60% App Manage 54% 46% Web Inform 61% 39% Navigate 65% 35% Connect 69% 31%Source: Yahoo “Mobile Modes” Whitepaper, Source August 2011
ApplicationsThe Rich User Experience Benefits Considerations• Rich and fast graphical experiences • The app offering must vary to• Possible to create a thick/client accommodate use and form factor side (instead of thin/server side) • App Store ‘search’ strategy experience that resides locally on required for discoverability the device and doesn’t require • Too many features could lead to internet access overcrowding, confusion and• Allows you to take advantage of extremely large file sizes native phone features • When little value is offered, apps• Features can work offline are used once or twice and never• Can become a great extension of again your brand attributes • Developing for each platform and• Provides various monetization device’s unique features and size options could become expensive
Mobile WebCross-Platform Accessibility Benefits Considerations• Accessible from virtually all web- • The site offerings vary to enabled devices accommodate use and form factor• No need to download anything • Require lighter designs and• SEO for easy search and discovery functionality • Slower page load times• Direct links or QR Codes accessible from other communication media • Dependent on Internet access• Content updates and changes are • Unable to leverage most device faster; don’t require re-submission functions and features • Monetization of content not yet• Advent of HTML5 and CSS3 prevalent improves feature availability and ability to scale to tablet size • Little storage of data, repeated log in may be required• Lots of knowledgeable developers
Hybrid ApplicationsThe Best of Both Worlds. With Some Compromise. Benefits Considerations• Accessible from many devices • Not universally accessible through a single build across devices (i.e. BB)• More efficient build costs • Functionality limits on some• Able to store some information devices locally • Light design and/or tradeoffs• Take advantage of core (native) required to accommodate device device capabilities types• Download from app store and live • New app versions requires on the device home screen downloading and potentially new builds• Ability to monetize downloads/access
Some Questions To Assist in DeterminingWhich Approach to Take1. Does the experience need to be “found” infrequently or used regularly?2. What budget do I have to build mobile experience?3. What are the traffic and/or revenue targets and how much reach is required to meet the target?4. How rich does the design need to be?5. Does the experience need to integrate with core device functionality?6. Is Internet access available?7. How will the service be funded?8. What devices do my customers use?
Some Resources To Aid YourApp vs. Web vs. Hybrid Decision:Pew Internet: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Future-of-Apps-and-Web/Overview.aspxMashable: http://mashable.com/2012/09/12/web-vs-native-apps/6Revisions: http://sixrevisions.com/mobile/native-app-vs-mobile-web-app-comparison/
Accelerate Your Mobile MarketingEfforts• Take the CMA mobile marketing assessment quiz and get immediate feedback: http://www.the-cma.org/accelerator