With such an amazing amount of significance attached to mobile marketing, business owners have started building mobile apps as well as mobile-optimized websites. Although the sole aim of mobile marketing is to cater customers on mobile devices, there’s a big question that has been bothering every entrepreneur who’s looking ahead to invest his/her time and money into devising a mobile marketing campaign. Through this blog, I’ll be highlighting a few aspects of mobile-optimized websites and mobile apps to help you make a better choice between the two. Hope by the end of this post, you’d be able to decide as to which route to follow for growing your sales via customers coming in from varied mobile devices.
Mobile website VS Mobile apps- What’s the exact difference?
Mobile websites are specially designed for smartphones, tablets and phablets. All these devices come with smaller screens as compared to the traditional desktops and laptops. These mobile optimized websites consume limited bandwidth and cater to a wide variety of touchscreen devices. The implementation of a mobile website can take any of the three forms:
- A separate mobile version of an existing website
- A responsive design
- A combination of responsive and adaptive design
On the contrary, a mobile app is basically the program that works on mobile devices. You need to download the mobile apps before being able to use them on your smartphone. Although most of the contemporary mobile apps require an internet connection, they don’t consume a large amount of bandwidth because all the images and files are already saved on the user’s device.
A look at the mobile web usage statistics from the year 2013
There’s no denying of the fact that mobile web usage has witnessed an incredible hike in the recent years. Here’s a look at the statistics that represent the current state of the mobile web usage in different countries across the globe:
- 50% of smartphone users use their device for internet surfing
- 56% of people across the globe own a smartphone
- 72% of tablet owners make purchases via their tablets on a per week basis
- 80% of time spent on mobile is consumed by the installed apps
Nature of business- A key factor that determines the need for an app or mobile-optimized website
The industry you deal with plays a vital role in determining your need for an app or a website. For example, if you own a law firm and are indulged in interacting with people via phone, then the decision to build a mobile app is definitely not wise. In contrast to this, if your business involves user logins and account management then a native mobile app can turn to be worthwhile investment.
Responsive design isn’t sufficient for driving users’ attention
Although its quite easy to say that building a mobile responsive website is less expensive than developing a mobile-optimized app, its important to consider the costs in a wise manner. The costs here include not just the design but even the upgrades that need to be done for the existing website’s back-end. You need to remember that mobile design isn’t just about fitting on a smartphone screen, it’s about about ensuring that the site’s functionality works well in all contexts and scenarios.
Mobile Sites- The upsides and downsides
With the 25 mobile website design principles established by Google, developing a mobile optimized website has become a mere walk in the park. In today’s technology-oriented age, owning a mobile site is definitely something that adds value to your business promotion needs. The entire experience of browsing a website via your desktop or laptop is definitely pleasing. Coming to the con of mobile optimized sites, it is crucial to note that they don’t always include the same functionality as that of the mobile apps and require a faster internet connection for transferring a large amount of data. Unlike a mobile app, a mobile optimized website never needs to be re-installed or re-downloaded, the functionality once installed into the site remains fixed and is available for the global customers.
Mobile apps- The upsides and downsides
One of the greatest advantages of mobile apps is that they contain a vast amount of pre-loaded data along with a greater amount of functionality that can usually be accomplished with a web page. Equipped with push notifications feature, mobile applications work as a great tool for receiving notifications about special deals and new products launched by your favorite brands. Talking about the downside of mobile apps, it is important to note that designing them is typically a complex method. Also, designing an app is comparatively more expensive than designing a mobile-friendly website. Moreover, in order to improve your app’s functionality, you need to update it on a regular basis and fix bugs.
The war between mobile apps and mobile optimized websites will continue for many more years to come. Its purely up to you to analyze the pros and cons of both for arriving at the proper decision. Hope the details listed above would aid you in making this decision quicker.