On Wednesday I had the pleasure of presenting at the Media Trust’s workshop on mobile at Google HQ. It was a great opportunity to meet charities looking at their mobile strategy, plus to learn from the masters at Google. There was also a really interesting presentation on Depaul UK’s iHobo app – an innovative iPhone app that helps build awareness of the plight of homeless young people.
Throughout all of the presentations, there was one key recurring takeaway: mobile is huge now and set to get even bigger and more important to all of us. For example, did you know that there are 1.8 mobile phones for everyone who lives in the UK? And that up to 30% of us are now browsing the web through our mobile phones every day? And that every day approximately people play 125 years worth of Angry Birds?
We’ve really noticed an increase in mobile browsing here at JustGiving – in January 2011 approximately 8% of visits on JustGiving.com came through a mobile device. Now it’s closer to 12%, which means that in just one month we’ve seen an uplift of over 40%. Wow.
Over the past year at JG, we’ve been moving further and further into the mobile space. Here’s how we’ve attacked it so far:
- We’ve built apps for our fundraisers, so that they can update their pages on the fly, and receive donation alerts. You can download our fundraising apps in the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace.
- We’ve also just released mobile-specific views of our website for key pages and processes. For example, when you browse to a fundraising page or our homepage, you’ll see a pared down mobile version.
- We’ve also been experimenting with QR (“quick response”) codes. I don’t know if you’ve printed out a fundraising page recently but when you do it adds a scannable code to the page: when people scan that code, they go straight into the donation process for that fundraising page.
- Our Simple Donation Integration (SDI) allows any charity who uses JustGiving to plug straight into our mobile donation process, whether that be by linking from an app, or through the mobile web. You can see this in action through the British Forces Foundation iPhone app, which allows people to donate to the BFF by choosing a donation amount through the app, and then connecting right away to the JustGiving mobile web donation process.
More than anything what we’ve learned is that mobile is here to stay: and that we’re going to have to keep evolving our website, products and services to keep up with the mobile revolution. So watch this space!