The Website is Not Enough. Get an App Today!

  • 13 Sep , 2013
  • by Admin

American Internet analytics company comScore has observed “Some of the largest mobile properties in the US – including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay – see app users spending considerably more time connected than mobile site users.” Just because you have a website that works on mobile, you cannot sit back and relax. The competition is upping the ante.

Analysts estimate that app revenues could be US$20-25 billion in 2013; this could triple by 2017. Not only this – Even if you have extensive physical coverage throughout your target geography, 80% of smartphone owners want more mobile-optimized product information while they’re shopping in stores. Point Inside has observed “Retailers’ apps with store mode gather five times more engagement.”

NATIVE or HYBRID: Which is better for your business?

Native Mobile Apps

A native mobile app is a smartphone application that is coded in a specific programming language, such as Objective C for iOS and Java for Android operating systems. Native mobile apps provide fast performance and a high degree of reliability. For retailers that have lots of iPhone users, the fact that 50% of users can come from a native app and the conversion rate can be 30% higher makes a strong argument for creating a native app.

If you offer an existing web service for user-logins and account management, a native mobile app is probably going to be a worthy investment, as it will provide tremendous performance benefits over using the mobile web.

Hybrid Apps

These applications wrap a mobile web interface inside a native container, have cross-platform compatibility and the ability to access a phone’s hardware. This means that they take advantage of the cross-compatibility of web technologies such as HTML5, CSS and Javascript, but sidestep the disadvantages of web apps by being built leveraging device-specific, native frameworks. They are usually developed using platforms such as Sencha, PhoneGap and Mosync.

Gartner says, by 2016, more than 50 percent of mobile apps deployed will be hybrid. Companies are under pressure from management and employees to develop and deploy mobile applications to accommodate mobile work styles and increase customer engagement. To provide apps for multiple platforms, especially as BYOD gains momentum, companies will be attracted to the portability of HTML5 Web apps, but the need to tap into native functionality such as the camera and GPS, will necessitate wrapping the Web app in a native container.

According to Cisco, by the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people. This is a clear indication as to which direction your business should take.

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