Is it a necessity or just a fun thing to play with? Opinions are divided concerning this topic, as we are about to show you. The fact is that Magento mobile app is useful and easy to manage, but is it really necessary or it is better to have a mobile website?
Some think Magento Mobile is just the thing the market needed:
“Today there are no strong Mobile ecommerce applications available out there and this current situation shows that mobile ecommerce market has faced the interesting situation when the audience is ready for online shopping via mobile devices but there’s no reaction from store owners that in turn don’t have decent means for bringing their online stores online. The problem is that most of mobile browsers are rather slow and can’t provide customers with the browsing experience that we are used to while shopping. So it is time to look at applications that can fix this situation without any complications.”
Magento mobile advantages:
It will be distributed as a module for existing Magento installations. Magento mobile will be compatible with Community edition 1.3+, Enterprise 1.6+, and Professional 1.8+.
That’s actually what Magento Mobile is about – it creates a fully customizable iPhone app of your store. This is especially interesting with all those recent iPhone announcements;
You won’t be able to shop without making payments, right? This feature will facilitate payments for mobile-based shopping. PayPal mobile will be integrated into Magento Mobile.
Paid technical support
For a fee the guys from Magento will handle the submission process of your application while you will be able to save a lot of time and focus on your business.
Seamless Storefront Integration
Easily integrate mobile shopping application with your store’s catalog, checkout, inventory, reporting, and so on.
Right now it’s apparently about iPhone only. And later this year, according to Magento, store owners will also be able to easily extend the mobile presence to the iPad and Android devices as well – with a single installation.
Magento mobile admin will help to easily update appearance of the application, even after customers have downloaded the shopping app.
Engaging the Customers
It is a great opportunity to use Magento Mobile as a strong marketing tool for building deeper relationships with your most profitable customers.”
Others think mobile websites are better:
“And then there’s the retailers perspective. The Magento app may seem all glossy and professional, but realistically there isn’t much that can be done in the way of customizing it. Unlike the Magento platform itself, which is highly customisable and can be manipulated and extended in an incredibly powerful way, the app is very much a basic “off the shelf” solution.
If you were to put the money you might spend on the Magento app’s into having a good web designer build a mobile version of your store, the branding and user experience would be far better than the off the shelf app. That mobile website will then have scope to grow and evolve with your business. You can add new features, streamline the design, gather feedback from customers as to what they want from a mobile experience with your company and tailor the mobile website based on that feedback. With the app, you’re always limited to what Magento decide is best for your store. With a mobile website, the possibilities are endless.”
“From a personal point of view, what I find great about developing mobile websites, specifically for the iPhone and Android platforms, is that the browsers on both of these mobile devices have better support for HTML5 and Web Standards than even the current release of Internet Explorer. This puts an incredibly powerful toolset at the hands of web designers and developers without the need to worry about backwards compatibility with outdated, but widely used web browsers. HTML5 and forward thinking browsers such as Chrome and Safari make for a future filled with feature rich, multi-touch ecommerce websites designed for mobile devices. This is what excites me about mobile.”
But whatever your opinion may be, this mobile app still has its place:
“But there is still a place for the app in the future of mobile ecommerce. I’ve been really impressed with what some of the bigger retailers have been doing with iPhone apps lately. The ability to scan barcodes and add items to your shopping basket is genius, and something that could not be achieved with a mobile website. What these retailers have done is to give customers and experience with an app that they cannot get from the web. There are other areas an app can shine, such as allowing users to add items to their basket offline, for when there is no Wifi or 3G connections available.”