Share this article

Omnichannel commerce | Mobile

Going Mobile? Keep These Five Misconceptions in Mind

image: Young lady shopping while checking her shopping mobile app
After all, if consumers don't find your app useful, they're simply not going to use it

Americans and Brits spend appreciably more time on their mobile devices than they do online via traditional computers, according to a Nielsen Co. study.* For businesses, that would seem to suggest that the time has come to create a mobile app.


That conclusion is both right and wrong. Yes, a mobile app can engage consumers in a medium where they're spending increasing amounts of time. But the app has to be worthwhile to the consumer.


In its white paper "Five Myths Every CMO Should Know About 'Going Mobile,'" app services provider Mobiquity cites a 2013 study that found up to 90% of downloaded apps were used just once before being deleted.


You certainly don't want to invest time, money, and other resources in creating an app that isn't going to provide some sort of return on investment. Keeping Mobiquity's five misconceptions in mind can help you avoid that fate.



You need a mobile app right now.

No. You need a good mobile app—one that consumers will find valuable enough not just to download but also to use, one that will improve your brand's perception among your target market. Mobiquity references another survey in which 55% of respondents said they would think less of a brand following a bad mobile experience. If you can't do it right, you shouldn't do it at all.



"Mobile is no more than another advertising channel... and maybe a mobile website."

If that's your mindset, you're more likely to produce one of those 90% of apps that are used just once and then discarded. An effective app is one that leverages mobile's unique qualities to offer consumers something they cannot get from another medium... and hopefully not from one of your competitors.


One of mobile's unique traits is that it enables you to keep in touch with users through their entire lifecycle. By integrating the app to your CRM system and your other channels, you can deliver users information and offers right when they need them... even if they aren't quite aware of that need themselves.


"Mobile-enabled customer processes are what your customers want now," according to Mobiquity. "Creating mobile apps or experiences that leverage all available digital marketing infrastructure at all possible touch points is critical."



Only retailers have to worry about being omnichannel.

All marketers—service providers, brands, educational facilities, nonprofits, and yes, retailers—can benefit from offering their audience additional benefits via a mobile app. Consumers expect to be able to engage via all channels at their disposal. If you can't or don't want to sell products online, you can still use your app to provide users with content relevant to your brand and their use of it or with customer service niceties such as the ability to make appointments and check account balances.



Your creative team can design the visuals and user interface.

If they have experience specifically with mobile apps, perhaps they can. If they've worked exclusively designing for the web, though, they most likely can't, no matter how fabulous and user-friendly your website is. You wouldn't expect an outstanding sculptor to also be an exceptional watercolorist. Sure, multidiscipline geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci and Picasso have existed. But let's face it: Most of us aren't Leonardo or Picasso.



Your IT team can develop the app.

This is similar to the above misconception. Technical issues regarding security, bandwidth, updates, caches, and even device battery life differ significantly between mobile and desktop functionality—and are ever changing.



* In the United States, the average consumer spent 34 hours, 21 minutes each week on a mobile device vs. 26 hours, 58 minutes online via computer; in the U.K., monthly time on mobile was 41 hours, 42 minutes vs. 29 hours, 14 minutes online via computer. And for additional context, Italians spent more than twice as much time on their mobiles: 37 hours, 12 minutes vs. 18 hours, 7 minutes online via computer.

author: Sherry Chiger

Sherry Chiger

The editorial director of Your Commerce, Sherry Chiger is an award-winning writer and editor. She was formerly editorial director of Multichannel Merchant and Catalogue e-business magazines.


Share this article


Illustration of man holding an smart-phone while SMS messages fly around it

Omnichannel commerce

Why-and How-to Begin SMS Marketing