Are you planning to establish a mobile presence for your business or organization?
Do you find it difficult to choose the right platform to market your products or service?
Are you struggling to determine which method is the best to reach out to, connect with, and serve your customers?
If your answer is yes, then this article is for you.
Today we’ll discuss the pros and cons of both apps and mobile websites.
In this article, let’s get to know the differences and unique features associated with a mobile app and a mobile website
To make it easier for you to decide where to focus, I have deciphered down how apps and mobile websites impact the user experience.
Equipped with this information, you can decide which is better for your business.
Many organizations currently ace digital initiatives, moving to digital models of business exclusively.
Mobile websites and apps can look very similar at first glance.
The main difference between a mobile app and a mobile website is that website is accessed by the user through the internet whereas an app (a downloadable application) is installed on the phone and can be accessed both offline and online.
While both options serve the same purpose, there are some major differences in terms of features, budget factors, and audience size.
It is no longer a question of whether your company needs a mobile app development strategy or not.
You can even go ahead with developing both a mobile app and a mobile website. It’s purely your call.
Before you decide, you need to answer some basic questions like
What do you want to do with an app or a mobile website?
What are the actions you expect to be done by your app or a mobile website?
Does your target audience need some special features from that?
Your aim or intent will play a major role in deciding to develop an app or a mobile website or both
The App Advantages
Having said that, some reports suggest that many people prefer to use mobile apps than mobile websites.
This proves to be a strong reason for making apps to reach out to and connect with your target audience.
Nowadays many of us prefer to shop online using apps than mobile websites.
Apps have changed the world and transformed our lives. Apps have become a part of our daily routine.
Be it booking a cab for travel, ordering food online, or buying medicines, we depend on apps for almost everything.
Mobile users are large when compared to desktop users.
According to reports, the number of mobile app downloads each year has been steadily increasing.
The number is projected to grow around 250 billion in 2022.
New apps are released in the market daily. The requirement of apps differs from person to person. People use apps for a variety of purposes.
There are millions of apps in the market. It is practically impossible to download and use all the apps available out there.
But the truth is mobile apps are created after the mobile website has been done.
Many businesses have concluded that they should effectively use mobile apps for gaining customers.
A well-designed mobile app performs functions quicker than the mobile website.
Apps usually store their data locally on mobile devices. But mobile websites use webservers for storage. Because of this, data retrieval happens swiftly in mobile apps.
App stores are constantly improving search functionality to make new apps easier to discover.
A mobile app allows you to offer your prospective clients value through a new channel for engagement.
Rather than looking at the same text and images on a mobile website, apps can integrate features that allow users to interact with the app’s specific components.
For example, Instagram users can view images on the mobile website, but can’t upload them without the app.
Apps make the user perform a task better with the help of the gesture. It is very easy to navigate through the products or services.
Let us take another example:
Consider a game app like Candy Crush Saga. The app is entirely downloadable and can be installed on a mobile device.
If you plan to develop a game for mobile users, then ultimately creating a gaming app will be your best choice.
When it comes to an app, you don’t need to wait to gain access to content, product, or service information.
The Cost Factor
Companies with deep pockets deploy both mobile websites and apps. While others might have to select one among them.
You have to choose based on usability, features, cost, and your target audience.
Cost efficiency is one of the most important factors that impact the choice.
Of course, there are many other things to consider while comparing the app vs mobile website setup.
If you think your user will engage with your app a few times a day, then you are good to go with an app.
It will be easier, quicker access, and keeps users up-to-date with notifications.
However, a mobile website still doesn’t replace an app, and an app doesn’t replace a mobile website.
Apps give personalized communication to you based on your location, interest, usage behavior, and more.
An app tracks user behavior and can customize the user experience by taking advantage of features like push notifications and geolocation.
For example, a mobile website can’t deliver customized local recommendations via geolocation or inform a user of special events and deals with push notifications.
You can also reach your customers any time you have something to share with push notifications, rather than waiting for them to check their mail, or come back to your site.
An app can give your business unique advantages which you can’t gain from a mobile website.
It is better to create native apps i.e. an app designed for one platform (Android or iOS)
Native apps offer a faster and more responsive user experience than mobile websites.
Yet you can also develop a cross-platform app that would work for more than one operating system.
Creating a mobile app for your business can improve your marketing reach, and thereby provide a unique channel for attracting new customers or engaging with existing customers
- An app can attract new customers through the app stores
- An app can take advantage over your phone or tablet hardware
- An app can provide a personalized experience to your customers
Mostly, it’s all about the user experience (UI & UX). Whatever you do, think about your users and their journey through your app or a mobile website.
Integrating your mobile website and app for your business
It can be more useful to consider how a mobile website and an app can work together, not whether you should choose one over the other.
A mobile website is a great way to start a relationship with your customer, and an app can deepen existing relationships.
They both offer unique advantages and they can work together.
For example, your mobile website might present general information about your products or service while your app will be tracking the user’s activity or streamlining the shopping process in your eCommerce business.
As mobile apps become easier to create and maintain, many businesses are combining a mobile-friendly website with an app.
This combo gives you the best chance to stretch your reach to new customers, simultaneously delivering unique user experience and customized content, deals, and information to your customers.
You can add language to your website, promoting your visitors to download your mobile app.
This gives you an edge to reach out to people, connecting them immediately through push notifications, thereby taking advantage of your mobile app.
As mobile users increase steadily throughout the world, the “app vs web” question will be an important criteria for organizations in seeking a mobile presence.
If your goal is primarily market-driven or needs to establish content and found on search engines, then a mobile-friendly website will be the ideal choice for you.
On the other side, if your goal is to provide a user experience or need to access the user’s phone storage and functions, then you might probably require an app.
It is important to note that a mobile responsive website and an app are not mutually exclusive.
Many companies have both mobile-friendly websites for their web presence as well as an app for more specific requirements.
In the end, it’s all about choosing the right tool for the job.