Businesses are consistently trying to reach a greater number of audience members in digital space. This has led to improvements in dynamic web designs over the last couple of years. There are websites and apps engaging potential customers through handheld devices. This leads to a conundrum. You might wonder which one to choose, Mobile Website or Mobile App?
According to estimation, 48.53% population of earth owns a smartphone. 25% of mobile web users are mobile-only. They rarely surf the internet on a desktop. If your business is in the digital space but not on mobile devices than you’re failing to reach a huge chunk of potential customers. A mobile-first approach in your design is crucial. Here are some of the benefits of this approach.
Benefits of Mobile-First Approach:
The mobile-first approach is important for your digital marketing. The display and resolution on mobile devices are very different from the big screens of coding computers. Let’s say you work on desktop to develop the design, content & layout of your pages. A user from your target audience decides to view the website on mobile. Another one picks up the tablet to view the same. Now, If you haven’t taken into account these devices then the users will have trouble in navigation.
The display for hand-held devices can get either too spacious or too cramped. It will be damaging for the reputation and authority of the business.
With mobile-first approach you will have:
- Responsive design accessible to customers through a variety of platforms.
- Business data compressed in a way that users have manageable chunks of information.
- Once done with mobile design, you only need to add some more functionalities for the big screen.
Mobile phones are faster and more compatible with the internet than desktops. They have a high processing power. Hence the mobile-first approach is the need of time.
Mobile App vs. Mobile Website:
A mobile website is just a normal website made compatible for mobile screens. It is optimized and crafted in a mobile-friendly manner. For instance, there are fewer page elements, small font size and minimum white space around illustrations and graphics compared to the desktop version.
A mobile app is a piece of software that you can download from an app store. It functions both online and offline. Mobile Apps work on the device’s built-in features. Developers get to create a more intuitive and user-friendly interface for customers with the mobile app.
Mobile apps and mobile websites are ideal for different scenarios. Mobile apps offer better user experience however the user has to download them first. Additionally, they occupy space in the device’s memory. On the other hand, a mobile website is ready to roll on the internet connection. Nonetheless, they might not offer a personalized experience as the app does.
In the subsequent paragraph, we will compare the strengths of mobile app vs. mobile websites to see which one is best for you.
Strengths of Mobile Apps:
There are two types of mobile apps: Native Mobile Apps and Hybrid Mobile Apps.
A native mobile app is built for a particular operating system(OS). There are two basic mobile operating systems, Android or iOS. The language of the app is same as that of the OS. Apps are an entity in themselves. They are very different from websites. Here are the strengths of native mobile applications.
Mobile apps build your brand recognition in a whole new sense. These are an extension of the company’s website but with completely new style and features. Some businesses apply a distinct marketing strategy with the mobile app. It serves as another touchpoint for customer engagement. For example, some e-commerce businesses offer extra value to app users in comparison to website users.
When a customer downloads a mobile app you already have their personal information. For instance, you know their location, device version, interests, usage behaviour and much more intimate details. With all this info you can better cater to the needs of individuals. You can also track your customers, send them updates and keep them engaged through push notifications.
Specific Features’ Inclusion:
Building mobile apps can give you leverage to add some specific features that cannot be added into websites. You can use the device’s functionalities to provide users with a way to use the app in a more efficient way.
Some the features you can include is:
- Tracking Customer’s Location Using GPS
- Voice Search Capability Using the Microphone
- Image Search Feature Using Camera
- Tap to Call/Email Feature
- Instant Notifications
Even the most responsive mobile websites are unable to give you this leverage.
Mobile apps can fully function without the internet. For important tasks like placing and tracking your order, you need internet connectivity. However, basic info and some functions are available offline as well. This is a big advantage you have with building mobile apps.
Mobile app business is thriving due to the above-mentioned advantages provided by the applications. Mobile websites can never meet the level of customer engagement and user-friendliness that mobile app offers. Nonetheless, there are some areas where mobile websites have an upper hand.
Strengths of Mobile Websites:
Websites can be found on search engines. They are readily available on different browsers. A mobile website is responsive, dynamic and compatible with different screen sizes. It has the following strengths:
Easier to Build:
Mobile websites are easier to build. You only have to increase the responsiveness and features of your existing website. You can build the website yourself as well as hire a web development company for this task. It is often the first digital platform developed by businesses. Hence, making it mobile-friendly will give you an edge over others.
A mobile website can be reached through any platform. The browsers on mobile devices enable access to websites without any additional effort. Thus mobile websites help businesses target a broader audience with a variety of devices.
Developing a simple, responsive website isn’t as expensive as developing a responsive mobile application. Additionally, the website is easily made functional across all the major browsers. On the other hand, an app needs more skill and labour to be made compatible with different operating systems.
The greatest upside of having a website is that you can make your brand visible by optimizing your site. Whenever people search for products or services that your brand offers, you can boost your site to appear in the top results of search engines. This practice is also known as SEO or search engine optimization. Companies with a mobile-first approach rank better on websites. You don’t get to have this leverage with the mobile app.
Mobile Websites And Mobile Applications: Work With Both
Both mobile apps and mobile websites have their own set of advantages. You can stick with one and gain benefits in the long run. Nonetheless, working with both will expand your brand’s reach and give an outstanding experience to the users.
Incorporating both mobile websites and mobile application in your marketing strategy will give you an edge over competitors. You can add customized features, include extra content, notify regarding new updates and communicate brand value. Moreover, a personalized approach with the app can help in building a more loyal customer base.
Mobile app and mobile websites strengthen your business in their own ways. If you want to pick either of them then carefully craft your strategy around them. Hire a developer who will understand your targets. Work closely with him/her for developing a responsive design in-line with your brand. Making the right choice will save you time and money. Above all, it will increase your sale.