The 10 essential criteria for choosing a mobile delivery strategy

Fjord Family

At Fjord, we believe that to service the multichannel environment, several mobile service delivery strategies should be considered. And as each one has its own set of opportunities and challenges, we decided to  develop a poster to help with these choices – we hope you find it useful! Download here: Fjord-Mobile-Delivery-Strategies  (A3 formatted poster, 224kb)

To develop this poster, we identified three different strategies through which content or functionality can be delivered on mobile:

Responsive design
Best suited to projects starting from scratch, these experiences require higher initial implementation costs, but allow for the broadest content scope and easiest maintenance. For a demonstration of this, drag your browser window from full size to small size (to represent a smartphone browser). If you’re already reading this on a smartphone, you’re viewing the smartphone stylesheet for this website

Mobile web apps
Try doing the same with the Amazon website, and it won’t respond in the same manner. What Amazon do provide is a mobile website that users on mobile devices are re-directed to. Mobile web (or webapp) experiences  are quick and easy for small teams to implement and maintain, and as a result often only offer a slice of the full web content.

Native apps
These are slick experiences that utilise native mobile functionality and market reach, but come with high implementation and maintenance costs. If you’ve ever tried to view the Apple website on your smartphone, you’ll know that it’s this strategy that they’ve engaged: a full desktop website, together with a native app for purchasing.

Each of these strategies comes with a set of pros and cons, and we’ve tried to quantify and compare them using ten criteria outlined below:

1. Development Cost
The time, effort and resource profile required to develop the initial execution of the service on mobile. This measure can help to understand the investment needed for mobile delivery.

2. Maintenance Cost
The development process cost for supporting and making updates to the service on mobile. Scores here reflect the level of cost associated with maintaing service evolution over time.

3. Content Utilisation
How content is treated in the mobile channel, including not only its scope (compared to other channels), but more fundamentally its purpose in an often heterogeneous mobile context.

4. Native Functionality
How a strategy supports the use of native functionality such as camera, GPS, accelerometers. These technologies provide unique opportunities that a mobile delivery can leverage.

5. Marketing Reach
Some strategies can utilise ready-made marketing channels such as app markets, or drive awareness and traffic through search engine friendly URL structures.

6. Market Success

There are a number of research findings that point to the popularity and success of native apps over mobile web in terms of dwell time and data throughput.

7. Performance

These strategies offer varying levels of interface and data responsiveness and performance. Native leads in this criteria because it can utilise device graphics acceleration

8. Speed of access

The nature of Mobile web and responsive design allows them to offer very quick access to tools or content – as opposed to native apps which require discovery and download.

9. Content Updatability
Some platforms are suited to quick changes in content which require little change to the codebase. This is often a key factor in deciding to develop  hybrid native/web mobile apps.

10. Framework Updatability
Different delivery strategies come with different challenges for how to make changes to the presentation layer. Open platforms allow changes to be made simply, by changing a CSS for example. Other platforms require more involved development work for changes to be invoked.

Find out how we scored the strategies with the poster download: Fjord-Mobile-Delivery-Strategies  (A3 formatted poster, 224kb)

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