By Mike Martinez
It‚Äôs true, a mobile web¬≠site is a manda¬≠to¬≠ry func¬≠tion¬≠al¬≠i¬≠ty to con¬≠nect with poten¬≠tial buy¬≠ers. But if you want to keep your cus¬≠tomers con¬≠nect¬≠ed and all you‚Äôre offer¬≠ing is a mobile web¬≠site, then you‚Äôre going to rapid¬≠ly fall behind and fade into the back¬≠ground while those stores with mobile apps shoot to the fore¬≠ground.
No trend in mar¬≠ket¬≠ing is more stag¬≠ger¬≠ing than the actu¬≠al amount of time that peo¬≠ple are spend¬≠ing with mobile apps, and how fast their dai¬≠ly mobile app usage time is grow¬≠ing:
- In just one year, from 2011 to 2012, the total time spent on mobile web¬≠sites grew by 22 per¬≠cent. But time spent in mobile apps grew by almost 5 times that rate dur¬≠ing the same peri¬≠od. Time spent on apps is even catch¬≠ing up to the time spent watch¬≠ing TV!
- Apps were cre¬≠at¬≠ed specif¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly to address the advan¬≠tages and lim¬≠i¬≠ta¬≠tions of the mobile envi¬≠ron¬≠ment. For exam¬≠ple, they bet¬≠ter exploit loca¬≠tion-based fea¬≠tures. They not only know where you are on the map but they can use the accelerom¬≠e¬≠ter in your device to know which way you‚Äôre fac¬≠ing. And rather than slow load¬≠ing, con¬≠stant¬≠ly refresh¬≠ing mobile web pages, apps are built for more tar¬≠get¬≠ed, spe¬≠cif¬≠ic pur¬≠pose use, goal based func¬≠tion¬≠al¬≠i¬≠ty.
- Mobile web brows¬≠ing has suf¬≠fered from very slow con¬≠nec¬≠tion speeds. While this is improv¬≠ing, dozens of usabil¬≠i¬≠ty stud¬≠ies con¬≠firm that apps are speed¬≠i¬≠er, have a more user-friend¬≠ly inter¬≠face and sim¬≠ply get more peo¬≠ple where they want to go quick¬≠er. The small screen and fat fin¬≠ger-typ¬≠ing prob¬≠lem is inher¬≠ent to mobile, so speed makes or breaks a platform‚Äôs usabil¬≠i¬≠ty.
- Mobile web¬≠sites require peo¬≠ple to spend thought and ener¬≠gy in order to get to them and the info they want to share. But apps, when inte¬≠grat¬≠ed with your DMS or oth¬≠er tar¬≠get¬≠ed life¬≠cy¬≠cle com¬≠mu¬≠ni¬≠ca¬≠tions sys¬≠tems, allow you to auto¬≠mat¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly send the cus¬≠tomer high¬≠ly tar¬≠get¬≠ed mes¬≠sages with option¬≠al push noti¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tions (per¬≠son¬≠al¬≠ized mes¬≠sages that pop up right on the customer‚Äôs screen).
- And while mobile web¬≠sites are great for first time car buy¬≠ers, mobile apps are what keep them com¬≠ing back for future pur¬≠chas¬≠es (and even ser¬≠vice!).
- Because mobile apps take a per¬≠ma¬≠nent res¬≠i¬≠dence on your customer‚Äôs screen, they keep your store clos¬≠er to the cus¬≠tomer than any oth¬≠er media plat¬≠form out there ‚ÄĒ even mobile web¬≠sites.
For more infor¬≠ma¬≠tion about the impor¬≠tance of hav¬≠ing a mobile app in today‚Äôs auto indus¬≠try, go to www.dmeautomotive.com and down¬≠load your free copy of The Pock¬≠et Rev¬≠o¬≠lu¬≠tion: The Com¬≠plete Guide to a Killer Mobile App, or pur¬≠chase the Kin¬≠dle eBook at www.Amazon.com.
Mike Mar¬≠tinez is Chief Mar¬≠ket¬≠ing Offi¬≠cer of DMEau¬≠to¬≠mo¬≠tive, the indus¬≠try leader in sci¬≠ence-based, results-dri¬≠ven auto¬≠mo¬≠tive mar¬≠ket¬≠ing that pro¬≠vides a range of mar¬≠ket¬≠ing ser¬≠vices to the biggest and most inno¬≠v¬≠a¬≠tive auto¬≠mo¬≠tive orga¬≠ni¬≠za¬≠tions in the indus¬≠try. For more infor¬≠ma¬≠tion, email firstname.lastname@example.org.