It is clear that companies are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that they need to adopt a mobile strategy. Not only has the number of mobile-facing Internet users surpassed desktop, but app usage has also surpassed desktop usage. As a result of this change, companies have started to rethink their mobile strategies. However, the question they’re really thinking about is a mobile app or a mobile website is the right strategy to go.
Some experts argue that they don’t need a mobile app, they just need a website that looks good on mobile devices. Others say mobile apps have benefits that a website can’t. However, as you dig a little deeper, there are numerous factors to consider before making a decision. When it comes to different mobile environments, it can be difficult to determine where to focus your efforts. We break down the pros and cons of each choice so you can align a mobile strategy that fits your business goals.
Statistics About Mobile App and Mobile Web
A mobile app industry value research report revealed that the mobile app industry generated $41.1 billion in gross revenue in 2015. Today, people who are locked in their homes after the Covid-19 Pandemic has contributed greatly to this figure by using the Internet via mobile.
This growth is expected to continue exponentially as consumers demand more and more of their mobile apps. After all, desktop usage won’t disappear anytime soon, but mobile devices will continue to grow very fast.
According to a study by eMarketer, consumer time spent on mobile devices is increasing day by day, but time spent with all other media is decreasing.
From 2015 to 2019, daily time spent on mobile devices increased by approximately seven to 10 minutes, while today the average usage time has exceeded 10 hours. What’s even more surprising is that time spent at the desktop is reduced by one minute and watching TV by five minutes. To simplify, companies lose if they are not aware of where their customers spend most of their time.
What are the differences between Mobile App and Mobile Web?
Both applications and mobile websites can be accessed via a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. A mobile website is exactly what it seems like. It is a website made up of interconnected browser-based HTML pages. Responsive websites are designed for different platforms and adjust for different screen sizes and layouts. Responsive websites are becoming more and more standardized.
Like traditional websites, mobile websites can display text content, data, images, and videos. They can also access mobile-specific features such as click-to-call or location-based mapping. Mobile applications, on the other hand, are applications that are downloaded and installed on a user’s mobile device. An application can pull content and data from the Internet, similar to a website, or download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection. We’ll examine the pros and cons of each so you can make a more informed decision when creating the smartest mobile strategy for your brand.
Mobile App Pros
A native mobile app is an application developed for a specific platform, such as iOS or Android, and installed on the device itself. A native application is written in the language of the device’s operating system. Apps are a completely separate entity from a company’s website and are often an extension of a brand.
- Branding Opportunities
Because a mobile app is a completely separate entity from a company’s website, it has the ability to offer users new branding opportunities. This means companies can try new branding tactics and styles with a mobile app. It is important to remember that a mobile app offers a completely different experience for the user. If your website can’t offer enough value for your customers, a mobile app may be the way to go as it offers users another channel for interaction.
Personalisation is about providing users with tailored communications based on their interests, location, usage behavior, and more. It’s easy to provide users with a personalised experience with mobile apps. Mobile apps can allow users to set their preferences and customize them according to their needs when they first download the app. Apps can also monitor user interaction and use this to provide users with tailored recommendations and updates. Mobile apps can also locate users to provide geography-specific content, such as special promotions or deals at a particular store location.
3. Leveraging Device Capabilities
A native app is the device’s camera, GPS location, etc. It can interface with its features and hardware. Access to device features is especially important for retail applications as they significantly improve the customer experience. If there’s one truth to shopping, it’s that customer experience matters. A Cisco survey reinforces this by suggesting that context and hyper-relevance are important ways to win over digital consumers. That’s why a mobile app is an ultimate way to improve the customer experience by acting as an extension of a retailer’s brand and offering features that are not possible anywhere else. Here are just a few of the possibilities:
- Push notifications
- Tap to call/email
- Device vibration/alerts
- Instant and automatic updates
In contrast, mobile websites are very limited when it comes to accessing a device’s features. Mobile websites are a mobile device’s camera, GPS, etc. It can use some features such as. However, there are many technical limitations to using them.
4. Offline Access
Mobile apps can work without an internet connection. While many apps require an internet connection to perform most of their tasks, they can still offer content and functionality to users while in offline mode. With this advantage, users can access information anytime, anywhere.
5. Customer Engagement
Mobile apps work with their own interface environments that allow users to be more immersed in the mobile experience. For example, they were built for the purpose of more convenient banking. They address users’ trouble spots and make it easier for users to achieve a goal.
Additionally, mobile apps provide more interactive ways for the user to interact with your content. Instead of looking at exactly the same text and images as a website, apps can integrate features that allow users to interact with specific components of the app. Finally, if a mobile app brings great value to a user, it creates a habit of returning frequently. All of these factors contribute to greater customer engagement by increasing conversion rates.
6. Brand Presence
Another big advantage that mobile apps have over mobile websites is that your brand is given real estate on your customer’s device. Even when users are not actively using a mobile application, they are still reminded of the brand associated with the application. The app’s icon acts as an advertisement for the brand. This presents a huge opportunity for hyper-targeted marketing and a level of customer engagement that can’t be matched in any other channel.
Mobile apps are built with the mobile experience in mind, rather than being redesigned from a website. Consumers now expect a seamless experience across platforms and greater brand consistency. In fact, around 83% of mobile users say a smooth experience is crucial.
Mobile Website Pros
As mentioned earlier, a mobile website is one that has a responsive design and works for different screen sizes. It is essentially a customised version of a regular website used specifically for mobile devices. Here are the benefits of a mobile website:
- Broader Audience Reach
Because a mobile website is accessible and easily shared across platforms. Second, in terms of search engines, it has more access capabilities than a mobile app that needs to be searched and downloaded on Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
Depending on the complexity, a responsive mobile site can be more cost-effective than mobile app development. This is true if you want your app to existing on multiple platforms.
3. SEO and Brand Visibility
Mobile-optimized sites now rank higher on search engine results pages than non-mobile-optimized sites. Companies with mobile-friendly sites are more likely to rank better, resulting in greater brand visibility and higher website traffic.
Mobile websites may be a cheaper option but are very limited when it comes to personalization and engagement. Additionally, websites cannot be tightly integrated into the user’s device, so they cannot take advantage of the other features of the phone so easily.
It’s also important to remember that mobile website design relies on the networks used to access it. Network access, quality, and speed are all factors that will affect your mobile web experience, even if a wireless network is available.
Mobile websites are more difficult for a user to navigate as they are on a much smaller screen than a desktop. This means you have to have fewer steps for the user to take. If you don’t simplify the user journey, users can become frustrated and leave the site entirely. Not only will this lower conversion rates, but it can also hurt your brand image. Make sure you optimize your site’s functionality on mobile devices by keeping the user journey simple and straightforward.
Which one is better?
When it comes to deciding whether to create a mobile app or mobile website, the right choice simply depends on your business goals. If your goal is to deliver mobile-friendly content to a large audience, a mobile website is probably the way to go. However, if you want to better engage and communicate with your customers to increase customer loyalty, the mobile app is an excellent choice. Also, people spend an average of 20 times more time on a good app than on a good website. In most cases, you may decide that you need both a mobile website and a mobile app. If it’s done right, both can be a strategic and worthwhile choice. So when it comes to your brand’s mobile strategy, it’s not about a mobile website or mobile, but perhaps a two-pronged approach. But don’t forget that, in addition to providing a customer-specific experience, mobile applications take place in an average of 18 weeks and cost more.