The eCommerce space is abuzz with the mention of terms like “mobile-first”, “mobile-only”, “app-only” and so on…
It clearly looks like a huge opportunity, but is it the only way to go.? Let’s put some thought into this purely from a consumer perspective, especially since it’s their wallet that is the target of all the marketing noise anyway!
Does your target audience of customers have the required data bandwidth to access your web service via a download and regular upgrade?
Would the category in which you operate have the repeat purchase rates that make an App download sensible? In short, not feasible to expect the customer to install and retain an App for something that one is most likely to use once a year or lifetime.
Users on the handheld are more susceptible to short attention spans due to Calling/Messages/Chats and inconsistent bandwidth making them prone to higher abandonment.
Is the App or Mobile navigation and user experience really driving your conversions? Has your business reached the maturity of Selection, Delivery and Price factors that are key drivers of business online?
Is your category search or comparison centric? A research led purchase decision-making is more likely to happen on a computing device.
“Are you going App-only because it’s in?” Cool functionality like geo-location, pus -notifications, tap-n-hold, etc…are all great value additions IF you feel your segment and target audience is really looking for such enablers.
Gather data of preference and usage about your present and potential consumers. A mobile responsive site may still be the way to go, if it looks like a bang for the buck from what your customers are trending towards. Further, if there is enough traction for your consumers via the handheld, then the App is surely a great move. But stay and improve the desktop and mobile web!