Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Importance of Mobile Analytics


Creating a website is one thing. Taking that same website and finding a way to fit it on a tiny screen is another. As a graphic designer, I come across this issue all the time. How do you best represent a company on such a tiny screen? Better yet, how do you create a mobile website or app that will fit the many screen resolutions there are out there? Developing for each device can be expensive. What is the best way to go about this? The answer is mobile analytics.

Mobile analytics differ from web analytics in multiple ways. Lets use the screen resolution as an example. How do you best represent a website with so many different screen resolutions? This isn’t as big of a problem with a desktop website. Although there are many different resolutions for the desktop, the drastic size differences between a smart phone and a tablet can cause a lot more issues. MobiThinking, a blog focused on educating marketers about the mobile web market, explains that not all mobile devices are equal. The best way to start a business in the mobile market is to understand what types of devices the visitors are using and prioritize which mobile devices should be developed for first. They also make the point that a business cannot rely on counting how many times an app has been downloaded. What matters is how many times that app was downloaded, used, for how long it was used and who it was  used by. All of these things should be taken into account when collecting and analyzing data to create the best strategy possible for each business.

This seems like a long and expensive process. It is definitely worth it. According to WirelessWeek.com, revenue from the mobile media market has more than doubled in the last year. Kevin Culbert and Caitlin Moldvay, reporters for the database IBISWorld, created a list of 10 industries that have been revolutionized by the smartphone alone. For example, 29% of smartphone owners use their phone to shop online. This has revolutionized the women’s online shoe and clothing industry in particular, doubling the amount of shoes bought online over the past 5 years. Mobile analytics is what will give any business the right strategy to compete in the mobile market.

The mobile market cannot be treated just like the web market. There are too many different factors that go into making a mobile strategy versus a traditional web strategy. The devices are different, therefore the data will be different. The people using mobile devices will most likely be different than those using a desktop computer. For most business in the modern market, there will be an abundance of potential customers who primarily use mobile devices and in different ways. The only way to know what the best strategy is in order to take advantage of such a large group of users is through mobile analytics.

References

Michael Ricci. Webtrends. “10 Reasons why mobile analytics are mission critical to a sustainable mobile strategy” MobiThinking. 15 Feb. 2012. http://mobithinking.com/webtrends-mobile-anlytics-interview. Accessed 15 Jan. 2013

Kevin Culburt, and Caitlin Moldovay. “How the Smartphone is Revolutionizing 10 Industries” IBISWorld. May. 2012. Accessed 15 Jan. 2013