Dear Companies: Mobility – Hand It Over!

Dear Companies:

Welcome to 2013 where only a handful of companies have decided to keep up with the times. I’m talking about developing a mobile site or app where we, the consumers, get to hand them more of our hard earned cash. We want to sit at work and spend our paychecks on video games or new pairs of shoes.

Oh companies, I really can’t stress enough just how much we want to give you our money and time. There are just a few caveats before we do it:  we don’t want to walk into your stores and we don’t want to get off of our butts and trudge to the computer. We want everything in the palms of our hands.

Please, allow me to explain exactly why you should listen to us. (You know, other than the fact that we’re your customers!)

shutterstock_133521695 (1)We’re Lazy

Let’s be honest here, we are lazy. We don’t want to reach for six different devices just so we can stay at home with our best friends Ben, Jerry, and Ronald. We want to reach for our smartphone or tablet and catch up with the latest episode of The Walking regardless of the day and time. New episode aired Sunday at 9? Maybe I’ll watch it online Tuesday at 7.

Consumers want to be catered to. If your business has no mobile site or app that runs well (Verizon, you could probably learn something here), you should probably just file for bankruptcy now.

We’ll Spend More

We would be more than happy to spend more if our favorite stores were right at our finger tips, or in this case: stylus. Mobile sites have a certain ease of access that the regular sites don’t have. They are less cluttered, more user friendly, and not as distracting as the regular desktop sites.

What, you don’t believe that we want mobility? How about this: here is the mobile market share in Q1 of 2012:

  • Apple — 11.8 million
  • Samsung — 2.3 million
  • Asus — 0.6 million
  • Amazon — .07 million
  • Other — 4.4 million (there are a lot of off branders out there)

Let’s revisit those numbers again for Q1 of 2013:

  • Apple — 19.5 million
  • Samsung — 8.8 million
  • Asus — 2.7 million
  • Amazon — 1.8 million
  • Other — 15.5 million

Even Microsoft made its way  onto the scene with 0.9 million. If we’re willing to throw out the big bucks for the tools, we expect sites to look good on them.

Still not on board? Let’s look at a few more figures to sweeten your bitter outlook. If everything keeps rolling in the app markets the way it is now, mobile apps will tap 102 billion downloads. Plus, we’ll have spent $26 billion on apps by the year’s end.

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The Bad: Verizon

You would think that since Verizon happens to be a mobile carrier they would have some grasp on what it means to have a user friendly app. Clearly, they’ve missed the boat since their app gets a mediocre 2.7 stars on the Android app store. Many of the consumers who utilize this app call it bloatware: it slows down the phone and eats and memory.

verizon2

The app comes pre-installed and is almost impossible to remove.That’s just not a good idea. We like to have choices.

People say the app crashes continuously and you can’t get rid of it without rooting your phone with the potential to turn it into a brick. Yes, that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

The Good: Best Buy

Conversely, Best Buy has decided that you can do your shopping on the app and then pick your purchases up at the store. No one is forcing the app down your throat, it’s not bloatware, and you have the choice to uninstall it without bricking your phone or tablet if you want.

BestBuy2It’s easy to sit at home, play Modern Warfare and think, “huh, I want to buy that headset after all.” Bam! Bought and waiting just for you. Best Buy seems to have it together here. It’s simple, easy to use, and works well with their locations.

Mobile Sites Are Good

You’re sitting at home with your friends when you’re slapped by hunger and feel the need to ingest the biggest pizza Dominos has to offer. The problem is, you left your laptop at your parent’s place when you were trying to fix their Hulu issue, your desktop stopped working six years ago, and your roommate has nothing but his phone – a 2006 Motorolla Razr. Last time you actually picked up the phone to call Dominos they gave you a pineapple and anchovy pizza on gluten free crust. How can you order? Go to their mobile site!

Yes, they have a mobile site and it works very well, especially since the site is wicked simple to maneuver. Dominos itself has picked up on this and has promotes digital ordering – with a dash of humor.


What’s the moral of the story? If your company doesn’t have an easy to use mobile website, you run the risk of reducing your sales from the 56% of Americans who own smartphones. That can kill your revenue stream.

Short and sweet version: This mobile trend isn’t going anywhere. People are spending more on mobile devices and companies who get it are developing mobile friendly apps and sites. Your future customers are staring at you wondering when you’re going to get it together as your old customers leave your side because you’re still stuck on laptops. It’s time to jump on the mobile stream.

Warm regards,

Jess

About the author

Jessica Gilley