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Mobile App Development: What Your Business Should Know Now

Published on May 20, 2011
Tags: SEO, Web Design London, Mobile Application Development

You may have thought that wallets have always been ‘mobile’, but the concept of the mobile wallet has just reached the digital age. On 20th May 2011, the QuickTap system was launched. It’s the brainchild of Orange and Barclaycard, and the idea is that customers can pay for purchases under £15 using their mobile phone. Of course, in order to use the system, you have to have a special phone (a Samsung Tocco Lite) and be a customer of both Orange and Barclaycard. As long as you meet the criteria, however, you can make what are known as ‘contactless’ payments, which are supposed to make paying for your shopping much more efficient.

Whatever your thoughts on this development, it does raise an important issue – namely that of the growing trend for mobile internet devices. As of the end of 2010, there were an estimated 5 billion mobile phone contracts in the world (although we presume at least some of these were for phones sitting defunct in drawers and down the back of the sofa). Smartphones are now said to be outselling desktop computers and, increasingly, people are using those smartphones to access online services. Despite all this, there are still relatively few businesses that have developed specific websites for mobile devices. The tendency is still to think in terms of what we could call the ‘mainstream internet’ and not pay quite enough attention to the potentially huge mobile internet market.

Mobile marketing is something that businesses increasingly need to take note of. It’s said that in 2009 alone, mobile advertising revenues grew by 85%. With the introduction of the iPhone and increasingly sophisticated Android devices, it’s highly likely that the boom has grown even further since. So, if you run a business that is looking to develop its online strategy and make the most of popular technologies, what are some of the things you should be thinking about in terms of mobile phones?

  • Mobile websites. Somewhat obviously, mobile websites are one of the biggest issues to consider. As more people use their internet-capable smartphones to access the internet on a daily basis, it’s more important than ever before that they can access your site from their phone. After all, if they are looking to use their phone to buy some clothes online and have the choice between using a site that’s been especially designed for mobile phones and one that hasn’t, they’re more than likely to go for the tailored site. Regular websites tend not to display properly on mobile phones due to the smaller screen size, making them hard – if not impossible – to use. You can still keep the basic design of your site for the mobile version, but it would definitely be useful to talk to a specialist web designer to work out how it can be adapted.

  • Smartphone apps. You will no doubt be aware of the vast array of apps you can now get for smartphones. Arguably, Apple has cornered the market in this respect, but Android and BlackBerry also make use of mobile apps. Increasingly, businesses are designing their own apps that their customers can download and use on the go. Some of these apps are for entertainment only, while others offer services that customers might find valuable. For example, Tesco has a shopping app that allows you to do your weekly shop from your phone. You can get satnav apps to help you find your way to places and others that allow you to access services from certain businesses. There are issues to consider in terms of pricing (that is to say, whether you intend to charge for your app or not), but it is an increasingly popular option and a potentially good marketing move for businesses.

  • Social media. One of the biggest uses of mobile internet relates to social media. Lots of people access their Facebook and Twitter accounts from their phones, so this could be a good chance for businesses to develop their marketing and engage with their customers. Any business that doesn’t have social networking accounts is missing out, so this is definitely an issue worth considering more generally as well as in relation to mobile marketing.

  • Location capabilities. We wrote a couple of weeks ago about how businesses can utilise local search during the London Olympics next year. This is an important aspect of mobile internet as it offers opportunities for companies to not only strengthen their current business but also seek new business. Local search often links to social media, as it allows people to ‘check in’ to places using the social networking accounts on their phones. When they check in, they can then often receive rewards such as money off vouchers and, in return, you benefit from their business.

Overall, mobile internet services are set to become more important over the coming months and years. For now, businesses aren’t penalised too much for not making use of the capabilities, but as more and more companies do catch on and start using mobile marketing, it will become more important that others follow or else risk being left behind. With so many options and potential for good results, it certainly makes sense to make the most of this growing trend.

For a free quotation on Mobile Application Development, contact us today.

By Chelsey Evans

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Comments

Software Outsourcing Company

Commented on November 1, 2011

The article is superb...Fantastic job...thank you for putting up.!!

Addison

Commented on September 13, 2011

More mobile apps are required for increasing the number of mobile users.

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