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Apps, Mobile Optimized Website or Both

Considering that mobile web use is growing at much faster rate than strictly desktop adoption, it is more important than ever for organizations to carefully consider the mobile experience they are offering when providing online content. It is now a necessity to have a mobile optimized website, not an option. Many people who are regular users of certain goods or services never actually visit the company website; their sole interaction method is via mobile media. Offering a mobile app as well adds a lot to the mix.

Mobile app revenue is exploding and a mobile app solution is a certain way to immediately promote and introduce a business or service to a large audience. Smartphones and other mobile devices are used extensively for recreational, retail and professional services across all industries. It is estimated that in North America more than 20 million mobile apps have been downloaded to date. Surveys show that more than a third of visitors to the average retail website do so using a mobile device

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Businesses are making money with and through mobile apps. In-app purchases and in-app advertising will account for billions of dollars in revenue over the next few years. The obvious trend is that digital publications accessed via mobile apps give customers the information that they want, in the format that they want. The need to offer any other method of access becomes an interesting question. Having a mobile optimized website is so important, but so are apps.

Both modes offer different things to different users. It’s all about your audience. Knowing who your customers are and how you can best engage with them will guide decisions about developing mobile apps as well as which direction to go with optimizing a website for mobile. For companies that provide services to a geographically large following an optimized site is important, but if making content available offline is necessary, a mobile app might take precedence.

The two models certainly can be used in concert, but if financing or time constraints are an issue it is important to be clear about which product serves your users as well as your advertisers in the best way. Another factor that will make the decision to choose an optimized website or a mobile app is all about content. Traditionally, content that remains relevant for long periods such as interest-based pieces are well suited to mobile apps as articles and stories can be referred to by readers numerous times offline. Content that is continually being updated such as news, style and fashion pieces work well in an optimized website based model where information is continually updated in real time.

A mobile app solution can immediately promote a business to a large audience and can turn casual customers into loyal clients. By enhancing a mobile app with special offers and exclusive incentives, clients will be motivated to make purchases and recommend your business to others. Free online content is an obviously easier sell than paid content through an app but if the perceived value is there, people will buy. If subscription fees are not viable for a particular company, there are many other opportunities to generate revenue via mobile apps, including interactive advertising and curated content.