There are nearly 5 billion people in the world today who have access to a mobile phone, more than half of which are smartphones. Mobile phones today have a direct influence on the world of commerce. With more and more people using smartphones and having access to the whole world just by a tap on the screen, people have become used to services being provided to them as quickly and as swiftly as possible.
Businesses acknowledging the significance of Mobile phones are considering it an opportunity and taking their services online. This has given rise to concepts of Mobile banking, mobile shopping, and mobile payments. In the year 2017, mobile commerce made up about 34.5% of the total e-commerce sale, and the numbers are expected to grow by 54% in the year 2021.
But when it comes to mobile commerce, businesses usually have two options to choose from, mobile app or website. Business owners are often confused that whether to develop a website to serve the purpose of Mobile commerce or to go a step further and get an app developed dedicated solely to their business. Some may suggest that a website is enough to accommodate the users. Others may believe that mobile apps are more beneficial.
Is it better to use an App or a Website?
It is not easy to choose between a mobile app or website because of the innumerable factors involved in it, which makes both of them different from each other. To make you more familiar with the attributes and differences of mobile app vs. website, we’ll discuss some of the key features and elements of both options mentioned above to help you choose the best for your business.
Mobile App vs. Mobile Website: What makes both of the options different?
Both mobile applications and mobile websites being accessible through mobile devices consist of many factors which make them different from each other. Websites are equipped with browser-based HTML pages that are integrated. They are designed according to the mobile screen sizes to provide a fantastic user experience. While on the other hand, mobile applications are specially tailored according to user’s needs. Mobile applications can only be accessed by downloading them on your smart devices.
Listed below are some of the key features of both mobile applications and mobile websites, which will give you better knowledge and will assist you in choosing what is best for your business and your potential customers.
Mobile App vs. Mobile Website
Mobile apps are developed keeping in mind the platform they are meant to be used on. They provide a tailored experience to the users of the particular medium, i.e., iOS or Android. Mobile applications are accessed by downloading them onto the mobile phone from Google Play Store or Apple Store, depending upon the operating system of the device. Mobile apps give businesses a new channel for branding. Mobile apps become a separate entity and allow you to experiment with new features and services which are not possible on websites.
Here are some of the critical features of mobile applications listed below:
One of the most significant plus points of having an app for your business is the customization factor. A mobile app provides a customer with an experience tailored just for them by asking them to set their preferences once they download the app, hence providing a personalized experience.
Mobile apps are also beneficial when it comes to keeping track of the ever-changing preferences of their users. This can help in suggesting appropriate measures to enhance the user experience.
Another way apps provide a more customized approach is by sending custom-generated notifications that have proven to increase the user interaction with the app.
Another important advantage of having a mobile app for your business is offline access to users. Debating on the advantage of app vs. website, mobile apps once downloaded on your phone and are accessible even without the Internet, unlike websites. This can make it possible for your users to access your services even in remote areas where they do not have Internet service. This causes mobile apps more dependable than websites. Even though some apps do require having an internet connection, but despite that, they will still be able to provide some content and serviceability to the users.
Incorporating device features:
A mobile app also allows you to access the device’s features such as GPS, camera, and locations. This is extremely useful for retail apps as they can use these options to send push notifications, to provide a tap to call features, notification alerts, and much more. Customer satisfaction is a crucial factor in the digital marketing of retail apps; hence incorporating the built-in device’s features allows you to make the user experience swifter, which makes your customer keep coming back to your app.
Mobile apps keep the customer engaged through push notifications, updates, and interactive features. Unlike mobile websites, mobile apps are more likely to load content faster and keep the user’s attention. Animations and interactive interface integrated into the mobile apps provides an excellent opportunity to influence the customer.
Mobile websites are modified and responsive versions of a general website to work on various mobile screen sizes to provide a convenient experience to the users.
Debating on the usefulness of app vs mobile web, websites are more famous for their multi-device approach. Unlike mobile apps, mobile websites can be accessed directly from the browser without going through the hassle of downloading the app from Appstore or Google Play store. This increases the audience reach as well, as the user only needs a browser to acquire the services your business provides. Hence saving the time and memory of the device as well. All that is required to access the website is a stable Internet connection and a browser.
Mobile websites are reliable when it comes to providing a labor-saving experience. Mobile websites do not require you to download the updated versions each time when some modifications are made. Websites are updated, fixes bugs and errors without disrupting the user experience as the updates are instantly made available for the users.
This also helps save money as there is only one version of the website working on various platforms, unlike mobile apps. This makes mobile websites cost-friendly for the business as well.
Mobile websites are very cost-effective when compared to mobile apps. The purpose of digital marketing is to maximize your audience reach, and it becomes quite pocket-friendly with the development of Mobile websites in place of Mobile applications. When it comes to apps, you need to develop separate apps to make yourself available on different platforms, while with websites, you only need one version which will be compatible both on iOS and Android. Similarly, less money, time, and effort will be spent on the maintenance of the website.
Comparing app vs website, mobile web has a broader reach. Having a website optimized for mobile phones tends to make your website appears higher on the search list as compared to websites that are not optimized for mobile use. This directly affects brand visibility. With your website appearing at the top of the list, your brand is expected to grow and reach a wider audience.
Final words: Mobile App vs. Mobile Web
Till now, you must have identified it is really difficult to choose between a mobile app or website, but you have to make a decision and choose what is better for your business. While comparing app vs. website, you must know your business objectives. If you want to provide a wide range of content to your users, then mobile websites are a friendly option to go with. On the other hand, if you want to interact with your customers and want to attract more potential customers, then developing mobile applications is the best option to go with.
If your business is operating on a larger scale, instead of comparing between app vs. mobile web, you can ask your hired developers to develop both an application and a website. Going with both of the options will help you to attract a wider user base as users will use both of the options according to their feasibility and preference.