Businesses have recently developed a keen awareness of developing mobile strategies.
However, the not-so-astonishing, exorbitant cost of mobile app development often comes in the way.
So, before taking the plunge and developing a mobile app, let’s take a step back and ponder over the question – What if a website was enough and served a similar purpose? A mobile app or mobile site – what is the better option? You can get an answer to all of these universal questions right here, right now.
Before proceeding with the blog to conclude, there seems to be an elemental question faced by companies all over the world. ‘What needs to be developed first – a mobile friendly website or a mobile app?’
Whether you are a new ecommerce company, an enormous brand, or a social media influencer, everyone that wishes to have an authority and relevance on the internet is found cogitating between the two options.
The Statista forecasts predicted that the number of mobile phone users globally would cross the five billion mark by 2019. Moreover, when one compares this to Nielsen’s findings: “Adults spend almost half of the day on their smartphone” is critical for businesses.
Why do You Need a Website or an App?
Mobile presence is a critical need of the hour. Also, every business aiming for mobile presence has a fundamental question about the efficiency of each medium. This brings us to the next step, finding the preliminary differences between a mobile app and a mobile-friendly website.
A mobile app needs to be downloaded on a smart device via app stores and have access to system resources whereas as a mobile-friendly website is a website that took the mobile-first approach in design and developed mobile-friendly viewership and interaction.
Mobile app development companies are often asked a dreaded question. But most of them answer the queries about choosing to stay with a website or going a step further with an app with the same response: develop a mobile-first strategy before making any decisions.
Read also: Mobile App Development Client Questionnaire: Every Detail You Want to Know
In easier words, – your content needs to be configured for mobile. There is no other way around it! Now, we shall rephrase the question asked earlier.
If I have a mobile responsive website, do I also need a mobile app? Once you have the appropriate item, let us give you a list of countable reasons that need to be taken in account when you align a mobile strategy fit for your business objectives and aptly answers your question – app or website?
What is The Difference Between a Mobile Website and an Mobile App?
To evaluate the benefits of the mobile website vs. mobile app debate, it is crucial to understand the critical differences between them. Both of them are accessed on handheld devices and tablets (but what precisely is the ruckus about them?).
Mobile websites are similar to other websites that follow browser-based HTML pages linked and accessed typically over WiFi, 3G or 4G. The distinguishing factor between official websites and mobile sites is the fact that the latter is designed for touch-screen interface and handheld displays.
Increasingly, responsive web design has become a standard. Technically speaking, your website should be able to scale to any sized devices.
Mobile websites can display data, images, video, text content, and can also access mobile-specific attributes such as click-to-call and location-based mapping.
Mobile applications, on the other hand, are downloaded and installed rather than rendering with a browser. An app might pull data and content from the internet, similar to websites. Alternatively, it can download content without accessing the internet as well.
Why make the paradigm shift?
According to a study, conducted by “Statista” in 2017, mobile traffic had a share of the total global online traffic of 65.1% in Asia, and a total of 52% of all traffic is generated off of mobile devices, said Hosting Tribunal.
This would give you an idea of how significant is the creation of an app. Companies need to design their app in a fashion that the content can fit the screen of multiple device types automatically.
Did you know that approximately 8 out of 10 customers stop engaging with content that fails to display well with the device? Also, 57% of internet users don’t recommend a company with a poorly designed website on mobile. Mobile initially shifted the paradigm of user experience on websites and improved user experience leads to more traffic.
Until and unless you are a brand name in your niche, then it is very likely for your users to land on your website first. If you wish to develop an interactive app, then you must have a thriving mobile website in place. In some cases, you may singularly need a website or a mobile app.
Read also: Why Both Mobile Website and Mobile App are Important for Business Prosperity
What are the Benefits of Mobile App Development?
According to Statista, consumers downloaded 205.4 billion mobile apps to their devices in 2018. This figure is projected to grow to 258.2 billion downloads by 2022. Let’s see some inherent advantages that mobile apps have over websites.
Branding made easier
Mobile apps directly translate to branding. Since apps are an extension of your brand and represent the values, you hold as a company. Your mobile app would gradually enter the personal space of users and claim a prominent position their device.
Apps offer tailored content that allows users to set preferences based on their location, interests, and behavior. It will enable the personalized setting of preferences that serve efficient target advertisement to the consumers.
The customization of updates and recommendations, location-based promotions, and deals come handy with the personalization of data.
Leveraging device capabilities and offline access
Mobile apps have access to the inbuilt features of a device such as a camera and location. This helps in enhancing the customer experience. To illustrate with an example, let’s consider push notifications.
These are sent regardless of time constraints, and you do not need to be surfing on the app or explicitly using the device to receive them. Whether it’s the latest weather updates, sports scores, download coupons, flash sales, or even event alerts- push notifications are like your BFF sharing the scoop.
A crucial advantage of mobile applications is the opportunity to use them offline. Downloaded apps keep providing access to the content and all the features without the need of an internet connection.
When Does it Make Sense to Build a Mobile App for a Website?
Companies that have a loyal customer base know that their products are used frequently use it to leverage all the benefits offered by mobile app development.
Companies like Amazon know what they are doing. On the other hand, businesses that have the intention of accessing device capabilities of a user device such as a camera, click-to-call, scanners, and even GPS- they would need a mobile app. Uber and snapchat are ideal examples!
Dynamic content-based forums that need high interaction are better off with apps, did you think of Netflix? Even games cannot be played on a website. There is a reason why PUBG has an app.
Does Everyone Need an App?
Not everyone needs a mobile app, and here’s why!
Smaller businesses or companies that are just starting can make efficient use of a website. When the primary goal is to deliver superior content to establish a broad market presence, then a mobile site is an economical and quicker option. It is far more convenient to have a website when you do not intend to have much interaction.
Your budget plays a significant role in making this decision. Everyone has their budgets when development is considered. Website development is far more pocket-friendly than developing a mobile app. However, that does not mean that the cost of mobile app development cannot be reduced.
Before you make any decisions, you must understand the requirements of your business and know your niche in clients. If your goals are merely market-driven and have an introductory presence in the market- Then the logical choice is a mobile-responsive website.
Mobile apps, on the other hand, leas to a competitive advantage when your particular aim is establishing customer loyalty and providing extra services.
Mobile has seamlessly integrated itself into our lives. Moreover, if a business is lacking a mobile presence strategy, then a swift demise into obscurity is nearer than you know!
When your customers seem to favor surfing on mobile devices instead of desktop stations, then it is your responsibility as a brand to spend time in rechanneling your resources. It would help if you kept the mobile audience in mind while making the calls.
Delinquency in understanding audience preferences is only going to come back and haunt you!