Guide

Mobile marketing and m-commerce

Creating mobile content for your business

Any mobile marketing or mobile commerce (m-commerce) project that you consider should initially be designed with your target audience in mind.

Understand mobile customers' needs

There are a number of different types of mobile device that people use, and these may vary depending on your customers. Typical mobiles devices used are:

  • basic mobile phones
  • smartphones 
  • netbooks and laptops 
  • tablet computers

The mobile version of your site should be well designed, and the code clean and compliant with World Wide Web Consortium standards. This will allow cross-browser compatibility - ie it can be accessed across all major media, popular browsers, mobile devices, or any other web-browsing devices.

You also need to think about how your customers connect to the mobile internet. Due to the vastly differing speeds of internet connections, you may, for example, have to simplify your mobile product to ensure that the loading times do not put customers off. Common mobile technology connections currently used include:

  • 4G and 3G, which allows videos, location-based services, downloads and improved internet use - now comparable to many standard broadband connections
  • WiFi, which allows internet usage up to home network speeds - however, there must be a WiFi spot within a certain distance to gain access. You should be aware that there are potential security issues with using unencrypted public hotspots.

You should conduct sufficient customer research before beginning to develop your mobile product. Read more about user-centred design and how to understand your customers' needs.

Considerations when creating mobile content

The basic considerations when creating any type of mobile content are that:

Mobile app versus mobile website

Depending on the type of mobile marketing or m-commerce service you intend to develop, you will probably consider using a mobile 'app' or a mobile website. There are pros and cons of both systems which you should be aware of.

You should only consider developing an app if there is something specific that you need a customer to do that cannot be easily done through a normal mobile friendly website. They can be costly to develop and potential customer often do not want to download an app in order to make a simple product purchase

If you opt for a mobile app, you should consider:

  • cost of developing an app vs developing a mobile friendly website
  • how to bring your app to market - eg through Apple's App Store, via Google Play or via another source
  • how to upgrade or maintain your app once created
  • whether to charge for the app or make it free
  • what type of app is best for your campaign - eg game, social networking app, e-commerce app, etc
  • how to promote your app

Read more about optimising content for mobile devices.