Businesses often get confused when it comes to establishing a mobile presence. They face the inessential dilemma of choosing between a mobile website and a mobile app. A mobile website is the first step to go for when establishing a mobile presence. A mobile app, on the other hand, is suitable for specific purposes that we cannot achieve via a web browser. When it comes to deciding whether to go for a mobile app or a mobile website, the most appropriate choice depends on your business goals.
The difference between a mobile website & a mobile app?
A mobile website is specifically a responsive website that works on almost all screen sizes and is accessible over the internet. Mobile visitors can access the content on your site quickly as the user interface is optimised for mobile devices. Mobile websites can display text content, data, images and video.
A mobile app is a software application developed specifically for use on mobile devices. Mobile apps have to be downloaded and installed for use. They are designed with consideration for the demands and constraints of the devices and also integrate with device and platform features. To find and download apps for a given operating system, users have to visit device-specific portals such as Apple’s App Store, Android Play Store, or Blackberry App World.
Which one is better for your business?
To make your life easy, we have listed down the pros and cons of mobile websites as well as mobile apps. The best route to go here would be to identify your business needs and then make the choice accordingly.
Mobile websites have the following advantages:
Instant Access: One can immediately access a mobile website via a browser across a range of devices.
Upgradability: Mobile websites can be updated instantly. The editing only needs to be done once, and the changes are immediately visible.
Compatibility: Mobile websites are compatible with almost every device. There’s no reason to design separate websites for different operating systems such as Android or iOS.
Easily Shareable: Mobile websites have a simple URL link which can be shared by users on any platform. The link can be put up on blog posts or social media, to direct users to the mobile site.
Affordable: Mobile websites are less expensive to build than mobile apps. You only have to develop one version, and you are ready to go.
Websites, however, do have their drawbacks. They don’t have push notifications and inside notifications that mobile apps provide. Also, mobile websites cannot be accessed offline; an internet connection is a must.
Mobile apps offer the following merits:
Branding: With the help of a mobile app, you can experiment with different branding styles and offer something new to your users and stay ahead of your competitors.
Interactive Customer Experience: Mobile apps can help you to provide a rich interactive customer experience by making use of mobile features such as camera phone, photos, geolocation and the user’s contact list.
Personalization: Mobile apps let users set their preferences at the start and can give users a customised experience based on their interests, location, and usage behaviour. Personalization can help your customers feel special, and they are more likely to convert. Apps can even track and observe user engagement, and use it to offer custom recommendations and updates to the users.
Offline: You don’t always need the internet to access mobile apps. They can be used even when offline.
Mobile apps and mobile websites have their set of similarities and differences. Companies looking to take advantage of a mobile presence need to consider how each solution will help them reach their business goals. Preparation and thorough research before you make your business go mobile, will help you to take the right route!