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The Great Debate

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By Seth Kaplan

Since the dawn of the iPhone and its acclaimed App Store, the debate amongst marketers, IT professionals, providers and decision makers rages on: Does your brand need a mobile website or an app? The jury is still out, and seemingly, the best strategy at present is not one size fits all, but rather one tailored to your brand and marketing initiatives. However, as mobile usage increases, data can help discern what consumers are doing—and what they are looking for from brands—on their mobile devices.

A big focus for data miners over the past year has been in mobile retail since shoppers are the ones spending the money. A new study from Siteworx shows that 65.7 percent of people surveyed prefer using a mobile website to downloading an app specifically for the retailer. In addition, the key drivers in purchases for people using their mobile devices were product reviews and price comparisons. Putting oneself in the consumer’s shoes for a moment, this would make sense. If you want to buy something and desire information on the product right away, it’s quicker and more efficient to have the ability to simply go to the retailer’s website, which formats for your mobile device, than to first have to download their app.

If we translate this retail scenario into a real estate-related scenario, the argument can be made that the mentality would be very similar. A prospective homebuyer who sees a home that piques their interest could conveniently go directly to the listing firm’s mobile website from their phone and plug in the address or use GPS to see all the information, as opposed to first having to download their app. From there, that same consumer can see all the pictures and data as well as prices on comparable items (homes for sale in the area) in order to help make their buying decision.

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