3 Questions to Ask Before Building a Mobile App or Website

RS16283_163641223_47Mobile phones have come a long way from clunky sci-fi devices to sleek pocket computers. If you have a smart phone, you’re most likely attached to it because it can do just about everything. And even if you don’t have one, you probably hear everyone talking about how mobile is the next frontier. That’s because by 2015 the number of mobile application downloads will reach 98 billion, according to Berg Insight. For the web, mobile devices already account for 10% of total global internet traffic (KPCB).

But at the same time, organizations need to pump the breaks on their mobile strategy. One major mistake is to take the “because everyone else has an app” approach. To guard against that and to see where your organization stands on the mobile front, ask yourself these three simple questions before jumping head first into the mobile game:

1. What percentage of visits to our site comes from a mobile device?

  • Visit Google Analytics
  • Click on the website you want to check
  • Under “Audience” click on “Mobile”
  • Under “Mobile” click on “Devices”

Right there, you will see statistics about mobile visits and as a percentage of your total web visits.

What is the number or the last few years? Last year? Last quarter? If mobile accounts for a decent amount of your traffic (Of the 4+ million visits on ACTIVE.com each month, 24% come from mobile devices), it makes sense to get a mobile strategy in place.

2. What does our website look like on different smart phones and tablets?

Now it’s time to check what your site looks like on an iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Kindle, Nexus, and other devices you can get a hold of. When you pull up the website, how does it look? Loss of styling, small font and a poor overall fit are signs that you’re probably losing a good amount of your mobile visitors. It may be time to ask around about building a mobile-optimized version of your website so that it fits different devices.

3. What is our online registration percentage?

If you offer online registration, what percentage of your total signups come online? If the percentage is really low (or 0% because you do all paper-based registrations), it may not be worth it to build a mobile site or app at this point.

However, one easy way to prove return on mobile investment is to calculate revenue lost due to a poor mobile experience. If you have 25% of your traffic coming from a mobile device and they are leaving quickly, you are missing out on revenue. If you could improve the experience and keep mobile visitors longer, your registrations will increase.

For that reason, make sure to take online registration into account when considering a mobile strategy.

Conclusion

These are just three of the many questions to ask before diving into mobile. Recreation organizations need to prove the value of a mobile app or website before diving in with budget. Start with the statistics – mobile visitors, online registration percentage – and decide if it’s worth it from there.

To learn more about mobile statistics, mobile app examples, and how to choose between an app and a website, download our free ePaper: Mobile for Recreation Organizations: Why It’s Time for a Strategy.

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