Emyoli Blog

Retailers, read this: buyers need something faster, more responsive in order to access the kind of information they want while in-store. A mobile strategy can help !

 

Written by Evi

 

Here’s an interesting trend that should get most brick-and-mortar businesses excited:  many “e-commerce first” websites such as Birchbox, Warby Parker, and Bonobos are opening brick-and-mortar locations to better serve their customers.

 

At first glance, that may seem like a negative to most already-established “real-world” retailers.  But take a moment and look at it from a different perspective.  These businesses are opening physical locations because data tells them that’s what customers want.  Let’s restate that:  customers want a physical location.  Okay, now stay with me on this.  Why did online retailers start there in the first place?  The short answer is, because it’s cheaper.  Developing and operating an online/mobile presence is less expensive than developing and operating a brick-and-mortar location.

 

So why is all of this good news for the existing brick-and-mortar retailers?  Because you’ve got the hard, expensive part out of the way.  You’ve already established a physical location.  And while you may feel like you’re struggling to compete with the online retailers, a small investment can easily even the playing field. 

 

This is because developing an online presence costs pennies on the dollar when compared with establishing a “real-world” presence.  So those online retailers who now need a physical location have to invest big to make this move.  You, on the other hand, only have to invest a fraction of that amount to create the online presence that made your digital competitors what they are.  Doesn’t feel so bad to be a brick-and-mortar retailer now does it?

 

Consider the eternal struggle between two of the world’s largest retailers, Walmart and Amazon.  You can read about the details in this LinkedIn article (Amazon vs. Walmart vs. You) but the summary is that Walmart is seriously cutting into Amazon’s world domination by doing two relatively simple things:  ramping up its online presence and integrating that online presence with its existing physical presence.

 

While your business may not be on the same scale as Walmart, the concepts and strategies they are employing to win back market share should make you sit up and take notice.  Mobile is a big piece of the customer experience these days and should not be neglected.  Even the independent, mom-and-pop coffee shop down the block can develop and execute a mobile strategy for a fraction of the cost required to operate their physical location.  Remember, this is why the online retailers went there in the first place – it was cheaper.

 

But what form of online presence should you choose?  Regular website?  Mobile-optimized website?  What about a mobile app?  The options can make your head swim.  But consider this, recent research suggests that websites as they have been in the past are becoming obsolete, and are evolving to be more like apps.  Raj Aggarwal, CEO of data analytics company Localytics, had this to say on the subject:

 

“…even mobile-optimized websites aren’t enough to meet the needs of today’s consumer.  Buyers need something faster, more responsive, and highly targeted in order to access the kind of information they want while in-store.”

 

Mobile apps fill this need.

 

The bottom line of this discussion is that a mobile strategy – the most basic manifestation being a mobile app – is the new brick-and-mortar must-have.  Developing, building, and putting these apps to work is a relatively simple process but it does take professional guidance. So don’t let this opportunity pass you by.  Follow the example of the big dogs:  develop a mobile strategy that integrates with your physical location and take back the market share the online retailers stole from you.  And remember, you’ve got the upper hand for once – the hard part’s already done.  A small investment will go a long way to putting you back on top where you belong.

Mark Zuckerberg: "Betting solely on HTML 5 mobile apps was the biggest mistake we ever made as a company!"

 

Written by Evi

 

Intro

It's no secret that Facebook is surging in revenue from mobile. In the first quarter of 2015 Facebook posted $3.54 billion of sales – an increase of over a billion dollars year-on-year from 2014. A huge chunk of this new revenue – revenue that Facebook sorely needs to cover its increased spending across the board – has come from mobile sales, as the social networking giant finally seems to be on the right track when it comes to pleasing its mobile user base.

One of Facebook’s strongest suits is its vast user base that connects through the site, but Mark Zuckerberg has always been conscious of how important mobile usage will be to continued success. With mobile app advertising revenue now making up the vast majority of Facebook’s ad profits, mobile app usage is crucial to Facebook’s ongoing accomplishments.

 

HTML 5 vs. Native Apps

One of the early choices of the company was to bet big on HTML5 mobile apps, which was a popular opinion in the industry several years ago. Choosing to create Facebook mobile apps in HTML5 would on the face of it seem a smart move, as the vast majority of mobile app code could be re-used on multiple devices such as iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. Making changes across the board could be faster and simpler. It also would ensure a cohesive user experience; a user moving from one operating system to another would be faced with a virtually identical interface, enhancing the user experience.

However, Mark Zuckerberg said at a tech conference in 2012 that betting solely on HTML5 mobile apps was the biggest mistake they ever made as a company. Although at the time the HTML5 app had more users than their newly released iOS and Android native apps, the interface ran significantly slower than a native app could. There were significant bugs on all major platforms, making for a frustrating user experience. This meant that the user’s experience of using a competitor’s native app was better than using Facebook’s HTML5 app, and uptake of Facebook mobile use was slower than expected.

The move to focus more strongly on natively-running apps from 2012 by Facebook signaled a significant shift for the company, and many other proponents of HTML5-only mobile applications also began to follow suit, releasing native versions of their mobile applications to leverage the increased speeds to offer better user experiences.

Native App Usage Drives 71% of Facebook’s Ad Revenue

Now, Facebook has a 31% year-on-year increase in mobile daily active users, and mobile ad sales accounted for a staggering 71% of Facebook’s advertising revenue in Q1 2015. Facebook’s success with native mobile apps has been mirrored by others, and now there is little doubt in the significant advantages native mobile apps can offer a business over pure HTML5 interfaces.