Industry experts agree that the mobile web will be a leading breakout mobile channel in 2012 and will prove to be crucial for all brands. With more hands on more internet capable devices, a mobile web presence is becoming indispensable for business, entertainment, information and far more. Brands that are not participating yet need to have a plan, if they want to stay in the game.

According to statistics, more than 90% of mobile phones today have access to the mobile Web through a browser. HTML5 gives brands the capabilities that can be built into a mobile site. Jeff Hasen, chief marketing of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA. Says; “My bet for breakout star is the mobile Web,” he said. “Black Friday and Cyber Monday have produced a tripling of activity and shows that we’re out of the early adopter phase.” According to PayPal, mobile payment volume on a global scale increased 516% on Black Friday and 552% on Cyber Monday. This proves that not only are consumers accessing the mobile Web more, but they are far more inclined this year than last to make purchases on mobile Web sites.

But there has been an ongoing debate regarding HTML5 versus mobile applications. According to Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta, she believes that the opportunity for brands on the mobile Web surpasses that of mobile apps. “I believe that the mobile Web will be the breakout mobile channel in 2012. Businesses are realizing that apps are for their dedicated customers and need to be more personal than just having an app that does the same functions as the mobile Web. Two years ago, the thought for some was, if customers didn’t have a phone that allowed them to have apps then it wasn’t worth the time to reach these customers, and businesses delivered up a degrading text/links scenario that was less than ideal just to check a box. The mobile Web is a good acquisition tool, while apps are more for cultivating existing, loyal customers.”

Steve Timpson, president of Siteminis, Atlanta says: “Use internal data to justify the investment – if your PC site is getting 6 percent or more engagements form a mobile device currently, you better have a plan in place to satisfy those customers with a reasonable brand experience. If the engagement is 10 percent or greater right now, you better run to exploit that customer and quickly, because the consumer will make the choice and vote with their dollar and if you don’t take care of them in mobile cyber space, guess what – someone else will – retail 101!”

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