Less than a third of Australian businesses have created a mobile-optimised website, with even fewer creating new apps, a new report reveals.
According to a report commissioned by Optus, based on a survey of 500 people across seven industries, less than a third of businesses have created a website suited to smartphones.
Alarmingly, even fewer have created their own mobile apps – only 18% of organisations already have mobile applications.
While this is an increase of 6% since a year ago, almost half (48%) of the people surveyed are only planning to develop a mobile app in the next three to five years.
Meanwhile, 72% of respondents are only deploying online and mobile applications to meet customer expectations, according to the report.
“What we saw is a strong increase [in the number of apps] over the last 12 months,” Optus business managing director John Paitaridis told BusinessDay.
“We did find that a lot of the three-to-five-year responses were somewhat conservative.”
According to an Optus spokesman, a basic bespoke app costs between $30,000 and $50,000 to develop.
Foad Fadaghi, research director at technology analyst firm Telsyte, says he doesn’t believe customers are directly asking businesses to develop apps because it’s often assumed they will.
“Most customers have smartphones and will use their smartphones,” Fadaghi says.
“The incredible uptake of it means it has gone from being something used among early adopters to something very much mainstream now.”
“For businesses, it’s about seeing an opportunity there and making the most of it. It’s also important from a branding perception perspective.”
“Businesses that are seen as innovating are more likely to do better than those that aren’t.”
With regard to if or when a business should introduce an app, Fadaghi says it comes down to the type of business that it is.
“Any business in the technology space or a tech start-up needs to consider an app in their overall plans,” he says.
Fadaghi says businesses should be focused on mobile apps and “other online things” as an additional, complementary strategy.
“The way we’re headed is there’ll be more mobilised sites on the fixed-screen internet in a couple of years,” he says.
“One thing to avoid is taking a website and saying, ‘Let’s make a mobile version of it’. That is a very basic approach – it’s not making the most of the opportunities.”
“It’s about utilising location-based potential – GPS and other functions of the smartphone – for a better strategy.”