Making Your Mobile App and Mobile Website Work Together
Follow these two steps for a successful, holistic and cohesive mobile web and mobile app development strategy.
Many brands see mobile web and apps as an either/or choice. Others try to mirror their app and mobile website or worse, withhold key features from one to help ‘encourage’ greater use of the other. All this is wrong.
Your brand’s mobile optimized site and app perform two very different but complementary functions. Mobile web is typically where customers first go when they become aware of your brand. It’s an excellent upper-funnel tool designed for initial, short, relatively simple, non-sustained and non-repeat consumer engagement.
Apps, however, serve lower-funnel and existing customers. They provide a deeper, sustained and repeat relationship and perform more complex tasks.
Armed this this knowledge, let’s talk about two of the most important steps to follow to make sure your mobile site and your app integrate and work for you:
1. Build a Coherent Strategy
I talk a lot about how essential it is to understand the jobs consumers hire brand’s products to do. But it can be hard to know if you’re on the right track. I advise brands to build a simple Venn diagram for your Responsive website and mobile app, assigning the jobs you think the consumer is hiring each to do.
Overlapping features should be few. Each should have its own function and provide unique value to your users. These are the jobs to be done, and this becomes the baseline for your roadmap.
Build your roadmap for each platform around these jobs to be done. A “jobs to be done” strategy guarantees your mobile website and your mobile app are delivering exactly what customers need based on their position in the purchase funnel rather than becoming a mismatched collection of directionless items. This helps prevents customer confusion and keeps your users engaged.
2. Keep the Peace and Spread the Love
Mobile web and mobile app teams both serve a vital an important role in serving your consumers. Despite this, I often find brands over-emphasizing one platform over another with key resources, funding and corporate focus.
Your customers access your brand from different devices and different platforms depending on where they are in the purchase funnel, so both your app and your mobile site are equally important and should receive the appropriate amount of resources and attention needed to produce and sustain a high-value, well-polished app.
With the popularity of mobile apps, most brands opt to make one. At the same time, mobile optimized websites have and will continue to provide your customers with a quick and platform-agnostic way to connect with your brand. If you’ve made the choice to create both, following these guidelines can help ensure that both work for you and your users.