Writing recently in Google’s AdSense blog, app expert Tuyen Nguyen weighed up the pros and cons of mobile sites and apps. Although many view apps as the natural step-up from mobile sites, there are some questions to consider when selecting the best platform for your resort.
First, decide how you would prefer your customers to access your content. While mobile sites require instant data access, apps allow internet users to cache content for later use. This is useful for saving tourist information, maps and for mobile ticketing.
Next, it’s important to identify how your web visitors currently access your content. By using the Platforms report in your AdSense account, for example, you can establish the devices most commonly used to access your site and tailor your content for the majority.
Third, how would you like your customers to interact with your website? Apps give users access to a range of features that are not available on a desktop browser, including embedded cameras and GPS.
You should also consider how “in flux” your content is - does it need frequent updates? While content changes on mobile sites are immediate, apps sometimes need to be reloaded before users can access new content. Tickets agency TicketsNow, for instance, identified that over 25% of ticket-related web searches came from mobile devices and considered creating a mobile app. However, they recognised that a mobile site would work across any mobile platform and would be simpler to update: an advantage too large to overlook for a company constantly updating their content with new events and ‘sold-out’ announcements.
After successfully launching the mobile site, TicketsNow saw the average sale value from mobile devices increase by 8%, the conversion rate increase by 50% and sales by 100%, while its return on ads increased by 30%.
We believe a mobile website is more beneficial to a resorts website strategy than a mobile app. As we’ve discussed in a number of other blog posts a mobile version of the website is standard when using the eTourism Content Management System.