BtoB: Would you suggest an app or a mobile website for b-to-b companies looking to establish a mobile presence?
Amy Schade: It depends on what the goal is. Pretty much every company out there is going to benefit from having a mobile-optimized site because at this point it is expected, and you never know who might be coming to the site—and from what device—to find some quick information.
You need to think about apps in terms of who they are appropriate for. They are probably not going to be aimed at customers you are trying to acquire but (instead) are going to be more for existing customers—whether it be support for the existing products or services that they buy from you, accessing account information or getting technical help.
And so there is no clear build-a-site or build-an-app. It is more thinking about a site as a must-have for everybody. [With] an app, you really need to think about the intended audience and the functionality that you want it for.
BtoB: What are common mistakes that b-to-b companies make when creating mobile websites?
Schade: A lot of times the complaints that we hear from users are that the sites are too limited; that when people think, “OK, I am going to create a mobile-optimized site,” they will just have a few pages of content.
It is true that people are not doing hugely complex tasks on their mobile devices; but they might be doing a little bit of research. They might be looking for a little bit of in-depth information, and they can be disappointed if a mobile site is too sparse or too limited. They want to see edited and streamlined content, but not a completely limited view of what they could have experienced on the desktop site.
But there are also users who do prefer to see the full desktop site, even on their mobile devices. And so, another important element that we often see missing is that you want to be able to link users from the mobile site to the full desktop site. M