Monthly Archives: January 2016

Who Wins? Mobile Apps vs. Mobile-Friendly Websites

In the past few years, the museum and tourism industry has “gone mobile” in two different ways: mobile-friendly websites and downloadable mobile apps. What is the difference, and which one is the better choice?
Mobile-friendly websites are still websites — they’ve just been adapted to look and function better on a smartphone or tablet. Mobile apps are downloaded from the iPhone/Android App Stores and appear as individual app icons on the phone’s home screen.
Let’s consider 6 key features:
1. Dependence on wifi or cell signal / ability to function offline:
While apps need to be connected to data to initially download, they can function completely offline after that (including GPS-location tracking). Mobile-friendly websites, on the other hand, have to be constantly “online”. Winner: mobile app.
2. What content can it convey?
Lots of content and data will overwhelm a mobile-friendly website, causing it to load poorly on a phone and damaging the user experience. Mobile apps can be arbitrarily large, include information beyond that of a website, and are often used to replace audio-players and docents as a tour guide. Winner: mobile app.

4. Which can be developed faster?
Optimizing a website to be mobile is faster than creating a mobile app. However, some template- or platform-based apps can go live as quickly as one month. Winner: mobile-friendly website.
3. Which is easier to use?
Both are optimized for mobile touchscreens, with swiping and scrolling features. However, mobile-friendly websites have to download each new page that is visited, which can mean delayed loading and a slow experience. Mobile apps navigate instantly, although they have to be initially downloaded from the App Store. Winner: mobile app.
5. Which is cheaper?
Building a website, or optimizing it for mobile, is a cheaper endeavor than creating a mobile app. However, choosing a template- or platform-based mobile app can be much more cost-effective than choosing to custom-build one. Winner: mobile-friendly website.
6. Which is more interactive and intuitive?
Mobile apps can “connect” more closely with a user than a mobile-friendly website can: apps can be location-aware (can begin a process based on the user’s location), send notifications and alerts (based on time, interest, or location), and include interactive games. They can also generate revenue (eCommerce and in-app purchases) and attract sponsors. Winner: mobile app.
Mobile apps “win”! They are, however, costlier and more difficult to create. That’s where app developers like ActionShow App come in — we can create a mobile app for your visitor attraction without development costs. We support key app features like mobile tour guides and in-app eCommerce, among others. Go to actionshowapp.com to learn more and take advantage of our great value.

Ways to Generate Revenue with eCommerce in your Mobile App

Many visitor attractions have started offering mobile tour guide apps ​to ​guide visitors through the attraction, telling a story at each point of interest, offering additional content, and providing basic FAQ answers. They engage visitors more fully into the tour experience. But then … they stop there. Most mobile tour guide apps don’t take the next step to help the attraction generate new revenue.
 
Visitors download apps for convenience. Most visitors download an attraction’s app before even arriving at the spot. A successful mobile app will harness this extra time and prime position by integrating 4 key revenue-generating features:
 
1. Donations: visitors may not donate on-site due to a number of reasons — they don’t have cash, the donation box was in a different location, they didn’t know there was a place to donate… and so on. A mobile app with a “donate” button can solve this problem (and create a brand new source of revenue if you’re not currently asking for donations!).
 
2. Sponsors: using sponsors within the app can strengthen your current relationships and grow the local economy by allowing local merchants to attract your visitors to their business. Sponsors can have their logo on the app’s main page, be a “virtual stop” on the app’s tour, appear as a pop-up notice, or be represented in a host of other ways.
 

3. Ticketing: allow visitors to buy tickets or secure reservations directly from the app. The ticket is then stored on the app until redeemed — no need for email confirmations or print-outs. This is a “must”, 

​even if you ​especially if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website.
 
4. Gift Store: online shopping is here stay, so hop on board! The mobile app’s tour can end (a “virtual” drop off) in the app’s gift store. Visitors can use the app gift store to purchase items at any time — even if they’ve already left the site.
 
These ​four ​4 elements are key features for any museum, city, or attraction’s mobile tour guide. ActionShow App, a mobile app platform, supports mobile in-app donations, ticketing, gift stores, and sponsors. Plus, our platform-based approach means our product is more affordable than any other! Reach out to us today at sales@actionshowapp.com to take advantage of our great value.

Author: Manoj Ganguli, Marketing Strategist for Mobile platform at Action Data Systems, developer of ActionShow apps on smartphones. Action Data Systems is headquartered in Barrington, Rhode Island with a regional office in Mumbai India. Action Data Systems helps museums, attractions and bus tour operators to create Apple and Android tour guide apps to increase tourist engagement, improve ratings, reviews and generate new revenue from mobile e-commerce.

Get in touch
– Manoj Ganguli | manoj@actiondatasystems.com | +1 (508) 801 0856 | +91 9833733268

Park, Landscape, or City Tours: Creating a Mobile Tour Guide App for the Outdoors

Museums and visitor attractions — big and small alike — are increasingly moving into the mobile age with downloadable apps, mobile tour guides, interactive mobile games, and mobile-friendly websites. But “going mobile” is often predicated on having good signage and maps to direct visitors to points of interest, and on strong wifi and cellular signal to provide access to mobile content. This means that outdoor attractions like parks, aquariums, or cities have a harder time transitioning to tour guide apps than indoor museums do. Specific types of GPS-enabled tour guide apps can solve this problem for outdoor spaces.
 
Most visitors download mobile apps before arriving at the attraction, so apps for outdoor tours can be configured to work completely offline once downloaded. Satellite tracking determines the GPS coordinates of both a physical location and a smartphone, and works regardless of wifi or cellular signal. So even in a large outdoor space with no wifi, cell signal, or signage, GPS-enabled maps in the tour guide app can direct visitors from one point of interest to the next. Once the visitor enters a radius around a point of interest, the satellite is “pinged” and the tour auto-plays. This makes taking a tour and following a path more convenient for every visitor. Click here to see an example.
 
Action Data Systems offers a tour guide app platform, ActionShow App, that supports offline capability, satellite tracking, GPS-enabled maps, and auto-play functionality. With these key features, we can easily create a tour guide app for your park, landscape, garden, or other outdoor attraction. Plus, our platform-based approach means our product is more affordable than any other!
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Reach out to us today!
Manoj Ganguli
Action Data Systems
manoj@actiondatasystems.com 
+91 9833733268