The mobile generation
I read a great report last month predicting more people will access the web via mobile devices than desktop PCs by 2014 (source). And already now we’re seeing the big players capitalize on this market:
- YouTube Mobile gets over 100 million video playbacks a day (source).
- 1.5 million items were purchased from eBay via a mobile device last year (source).
- Facebook has 100 million active mobile internet users who access the service twice as often (source).
- 1.7 million iPhone 4 handsets were sold in the first 4 days – the most successful product launch in Apple’s history (source).
And us Aussies are getting on board
Australia is punching above its weight division when it comes to mobile internet. Our 3G coverage (think fast data downloads, video streaming, VOIP…) sits at 56% (source) and ranks 3rd behind Japan and Korea. This is supported by 43% of Australians having web capable mobile handsets. And the key activities we’re using our mobile web devices for are Search (73%); news & weather (59%); email (58%) maps/navigation (56%); Social networking (39%) (source).
Should your business be building a mobile site or app?
Too many companies focus solely on driving users to their websites. A smarter approach would be to focus on giving users the content they want, when they want it, in the context of the environment they are in.
When working with Mazda to determine whether m.mazda.com.au was a good idea we posed the following questions:
- Do customers want your content whilst away from their computers? E.G. Reading news and reviews, checking sports scores and stock market info, watching uni lectures
- Are customers trying to find you whilst on the move? E.G. Restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, dealerships
- Do you have engaging video and audio to share with your customers? E.G. Interviews, product demos, customer videos
- Could time or location specific offers to customers be valuable?
- Do you want customers to engage and respond immediately to your above-the-line ads? E.G. See a billboard or newspaper ad and clicking straight to your mobile site.
- Do you want your customers giving you their thoughts, comments, ideas, photos, videos or opinions as they have them?
- Are more and more customers trying to access your normal site from mobile devices?
The other thing we did was to review the unique attributes of mobile devices to determine whether these could be used to enhance the experience. Here’s a list of the features available today.
Regardless of whether you use mobile internet to engage with your audience one thing is for sure. Mobile devices and the mobile web are going to provide more engaging, responsive, and context specific offerings moving forward. And that’s good for all of us.