7 Feb 2022
Mobile phones rule the world. It’s hard to argue with that. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of a mobile website vs. a mobile app and whether the right choice is not choosing at all.
Mobile phones rule the world. It’s hard to argue with that. Today, there are 5.31 billion mobile phone users in the world, which is around 65% of the population. And all of this audience needs to be satisfied with high-quality mobile applications and fast mobile websites. However, not all businesses can develop two solutions at once, and they are on the verge of choosing between a mobile application and mobile site.
But, a website doesn’t replace a mobile app and vice versa. They both offer unique advantages to businesses, and they can work in conjunction with one another.
It can be beneficial to figure out how a website and an app can work together, not whether you should be choosing one instead of the other. It is important to note, you don’t HAVE to choose between a website and mobile application.
Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons of a mobile website vs. a mobile app. Furthermore, what they can individually offer your business.
Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps
A website is usually how companies who are considering mobile app get started. Here is quick rundown of how a website compares to an app.
- A website is often less expensive than an app
- A mobile-friendly (responsive) website can present a greater outreach
- A website offers greater device compatibility (because you only need a working browser and Internet connection)
- A website is easier to link and share than an app
A responsive, mobile-friendly website can be easier for people to find when searching online. From a business perspective, a website is less difficult to create and update. What’s more, you don’t need separate versions of your website for Android and IOS users either.
App stores are constantly working on improving search functionality so that new apps are easier to discover. In spite of that, app stores are just not as accessible as the web. Websites continue to give smaller companies a greater chance of been discovered than a mobile app.
Websites are often less costly and less time consuming than creating a mobile app. However, an app can give your business competitive advantages you simply can’t get from a mobile-friendly website.
Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Websites
Creating a mobile app for your business can improve your marketing, provide a new channel for attracting customers or offer new ways of engaging existing customers. Mobile apps are very convenient, but the right choice depends on what your goals are. When developing an application you want to make sure that you’re getting a favourable return on your investment.
- An app can attract new customers through app stores
- A mobile app can take advantage of phone and tablet specific hardware
- An app can provide a new, unique experience for your customers
- An app can offer offline access
A mobile website is a great way to start a relationship with a customer but a mobile app can deepen existing relationships. Mobile apps give you unique ways too engage with existing customers, as well as providing a personalised experience.
Customised user experiences start with hardware features native to phones and tablets. While its true that HTML5 has become a long way, making it much easier to deliver individual experiences, websites can’t track user behaviour as well as an app can. Websites can’t customise user experiences by taking advantage of features like geolocation and push notifications.
For example, a mobile website can’t off customised local recommendations via geolocation, or inform a user of special events and deals with push notifications. In addition, you can reach your customers any time you ave something to share with push notifications, rather than waiting for them to check their email or come back to your site.
As mobile apps become easier to create and maintain, many businesses are combining a mobile-friendly website with a mobile app. This combination can give you the best chance to expand your reach to new customers. Additionally, the combination can deliver unique experience and customised content, deals and information your most loyal customers.
A common case is to add language and CTAs to your website, promoting visitors to download your app. This gives you an excellent channel for reaching out to people, contacting them immediately via push notifications, as well as taking advantage of the capabilities of a mobile app.
You don’t have to choose between an app and a website. It is not a case of one or the other. Your website and app can (and should!) work simultaneously, supporting each other.
The Next Step
As mobile use continues to grow worldwide, the “app vs web” question will remain a very real consideration for organisations seeking to establish a mobile presence. If your mobile goals are primarily marketing-driven, or if your aim is to deliver content and establish a broad mobile presence that can be easily maintained, shared between users, and found on search engines, then the a mobile-friendly responsive website is the logical choice.
On the other hand, if your goal is to provide a user experience that feels more like a gaming interface or a computer program than a website, or if you need access to a user’s phone storage and native functions, then an app is probably going to be required.
As mentioned previously, it’s important to remember that a mobile/responsive website and a mobile app are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Plenty of organisations have both a mobile-friendly public website for their general web presence, as well as a downloadable app to accommodate more specific requirements. In the end, it’s all about choosing the right tool for the job.
If you are planning a mobile strategy for your business, we can help you make informed decisions with the right project plan to match your goals. Contact our experts today, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Just drop us a line for a no-obligation chat.
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