Mobile Website vs Mobile App – Which Is The Right Thing For Your Business?

Posted on November 11, 2016

Nobody can argue over the importance of having a good mobile strategy. Everything on digital space is happening primarily on mobile. Mobile commerce evolved as the main face of eCommerce. As per Google, mobile search is taking over traditional search.

In making a purchase, consumers are accompanied by mobile devices at every step. From product browsing, research to comparing price to vendor reviews, mobile business efforts have made all these extremely easy now. As Google gives more priority to mobile-friendly sites in search rankings, SEO is also affected tremendously by mobile.

  • 40% of customers just leaves for a competitor following a bad mobile experience.
  • Around 67% of customers express that they prefer buying a product or service from mobile friendly sites.
  • A whopping 50% of searches made on mobile devices are converted into purchase.

So, for any business, going mobile is naturally the utmost priority. But to have a good mobile presence you have two alternatives at your disposal, responsively as mobile website and mobile app. Both has its pros and cons for business owner.

Mobile Websites

A mobile website is nothing but the mobile friendly version of the desktop website. Basically, it is exclusively designed for mobile use. Mobile websites corresponding to the constraints of mobile viewing and functional ease offer less content and pages compared to desktop sites. Here are few important attributes of mobile websites to have a look.

  • Mobile websites can be reached from any mobile browser in any mobile device. All smartphones come with browsers and naturally you enjoy reaching all smartphone users with mobile website.
  • Mobile websites represent your business and brand for mobile users. As users have a negative opinion of business that do not have a mobile website, it crucial for your brand identity as well.
  • With mobile website there is no need of any download. With just a browser users can access your site directly.
  • Google and other search engines now give priority to sites optimized for mobile. So, having a mobile site you are more likely to improve your search rankings as well.
  • Even when building a separate mobile website is expensive, you can always make your existing site responsive by just adding mobile friendly components.

Why Mobile Apps?

A mobile app refers to a native application built particularly for use on smartphones and other handheld devices and wearables. They are separately developed without anything to do with the development of your website. Apps are popular because of their native experience, ease of access and device specific attributes.

  • According to latest report, on an average more than 2 hours per day is spent on smartphones by US users.
  • Among the moments spent on smartphone by US users, apps take 86 percent of time.
  • Apps from delivering general useful information like prices and events to helping you perform certain tasks such as booking, searching or allowing you connect other people and collaborate, they can do many things right from your device screen.
  • It allows a better interactive presence with the business brand.
  • Apps can better address custom requirements, preferences of individual customers than their web counterparts.
  • Apps offer the customers to stay connected to your brand all the time while allowing extreme ease of access to make a transaction or browse through products.
  • While using an app user is less likely to turn to other competitors as it happens when browsing websites. Through apps you gain more customer loyalty.
  • Apps help you connecting to users more contextually by utilizing their location, preference and other customer centric information.

The Difference between a Mobile App and a Mobile Website

Knowing the difference between a mobile website and a mobile app in all their business attributes and effects is important to assess the crucial role they serve for a business. While a mobile website typically tries to address the viewing constraints and other device specific aspects of a websites when accessed from mobile devices, the apps focus on performance, integration of device functions and interactive elements. You need to invest in a mobile website, because without it your standard website will only be limited to desktop users, losing vast majority of users accessing web on smartphones.

A mobile app, in contrast to mobile website is a native software application which is designed especially for handheld devices like smartphones and tablets. While a mobile site can be accessed from the browser anytime when using web, an app from its respective app store needs to be downloaded and installed for accessing it. But once installed on the device, an app can be accessed anytime with the highest ease.

So, in a way both are useful and important for the users as well as businesses. They serve the purpose of connecting brands and customers in different ways, but both are nevertheless important.

Using both Mobile Site and App to the Advantage of Business

Users first depend on searching the web whenever they come across a new service or product. Now as mobile search far surpassed desktop searches, you can easily assume the majority of web search on a product or service will be on mobile. This is why having a mobile website is important. Mobile website makes your business more discoverable on the web than any other means. But obviously, to hit the search ranks you need to post valuable and relevant contents and make the site engaging as best as possible.

But how can you make your customers stick around the brand and do something to let them come back to your store after a purchase. That is exactly where the role of mobile app comes as important.

Unlike your website your app stays with your customers by occupying a place on the screen of their handheld device. Once they download and install the app, you are better connected with them and they are likely to visit your offerings often. So, just after customers make the first contact with your business, you should try every way to let them download your app. What you can do to push users downloading your app? Let us have a look at some measures.

  • You can advertise the app on your mobile website with buttons like “Get Our App!” to grab user attention.
  • You can push app downloads by offering promotional benefits such as coupons, loyalty rewards, etc.
  • Remember, making them download and install the app is not enough as they can remove it as soon as they find it non-interesting. Engaging app experience and boosting usability are two most important aspects concerning this.
  • As soon as people install the app on their device you can make use of the unrestrained access and can push business conversion by issuing push notifications, surveys, and making special offers.

A mobile app and a mobile site do not stand as contrasting alternatives to a business, but when used up to their respective potential, can actually make a robust mobile presence for the business together. While a mobile website is for letting people discover the business and brand on the web, a mobile app will let them stay connected with the business.

Author Bio

Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing iOS game development and android application development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.


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