Native application versus m.site? How we arrived at our decision

By Damien Mahoney - July 4, 2012
1 mins read time
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It’s the burning question that confronts publishers, service providers & developers trying to work out how best to service their audience, customers or clients via mobile.

And because we are currently grappling with it as well, we thought we’d share some of the logic behind our decision.

The infographic below by MDG cleverly outlines the pros and cons between the two options and provides a reasonable starting point to begin researching the issue.

But of course it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to options in the mobile space. As mobile development platforms continue to proliferate, there are plenty of solutions out there that can help you address the issue.

But as I see it, these are the following options:

  • Build an app
  • Build an m-site
  • Build both
  • Do nothing

So let’s rule out option 4 and look at the other three.

The decision for Pillar Sports focused on our new social media aggregator, Stackla. We had to consider the commercial model around Stackla, what our clients wanted, the popularity of the product and the current position of our business.

All of these were weighed up to arrive at a point where we are comfortable and confident our strategy is right.

So the answer to the $64million question?

We have actually adopted a strategy where we will cover all of the three options, in a staged approach that will move in line with the growth of Stackla.

Initially we will focus on getting Stackla optimised for mobile & tablet browsers, in other words an m-site. This is the cheapest, quickest and simplest option and will allow us to further gauge demand from clients and analyze user behaviour.

Simultaneously we will be investigating the most cost-effective app development solution that suits our business model, which is essentially a whitelabel SaaS offering.

Building a single aggregator style app or custom apps for each client won’t be cost-effective, so we will look to adopt a PhoneGap style solution that utilises HTML5 combined with the native features of the device to generate a template that we can customise and easily replicate.

This solution will also have compatibility with iOS, Android and other popular mobile platforms.

So in essence, we will be covering all options in our strategy, based upon what we believe is best for our business. Nothing overly complex, just some simple logic.

Of course there were more factors that we considered, but too many to list in this post. It may be right, it may be wrong, or it may be a bit in between. We’ll keep you posted on the outcomes.

mobile_infographic

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