As we already established in our previous blog post, having a mobile presence in the digital world is essential for any type of business. The dilemma many companies today are running into is whether to develop a mobile app for their users to download or a mobile version of their current website, or perhaps even both.
While the two of these may seem relatively similar at first glance, there are a few key differences between the two that we want to clarify here at Xecuit. That’s why in this blog post, we’ll be diving into all of the differences between a mobile app and a mobile website including the pros and cons to both in order to help you make the smartest decision for your business’ mobile online strategy.
Mobile Website Pros
One of the key advantages of a mobile website is that it is instantly available to users via their mobile device’s browser. This can be more beneficial for lead generation as it is easier to be discovered compared to the App Store or Google Play, where mobile apps are found, bringing in potential new customers in many cases.
With a mobile website, you have a much more immediate way to upload new content or update your mobile platform’s features and design. A mobile app in most cases requires the user to physically go update their app in order to load the new features that you have incorporated— unless they have automatic app updates turned on, which we highly recommend, but this is unfortunately not known or practiced by the majority of today’s smartphone users.
Mobile websites, like desktop websites, are housed within a URL. This makes them easily capable of being shared with others, so if a major part of your business depends on the snowball effect of customer referrals, then having a shareable platform for your information is vital. With a mobile app, your users have to have your app downloaded in order to access your content if someone shares it with them.
Mobile App Pros
The reason we at Xecuit have a bias towards mobile apps is the user experience. Mobile apps allow you to easily give your end users a personalized experience with their own unique preferences. A mobile website, while is responsive across all mobile devices, is still a simple, flat design that is the same for all users. This can be good or bad depending on your business priorities. We will say from our own experiences, customers enjoy being able to use a customized app with no restrictions on capabilities. While mobile websites still depend on the traditional back button, address bar, and refresh button, you can design a mobile app to have much more elaborate forms of user navigation.
Mobile apps even give you the capability to track and observe your user engagement, so you can adjust features accordingly to allow for a more quality user experience and even offer custom recommendations and updates to your users.
As email marketing becomes more and more obsolete over time with the mass quantities the average consumer receives on a daily basis, sending mobile notifications has become the new and improved business communication tool. When users have your app downloaded, they can receive notifications directly to their phone similar to a text or alert—keeping them up to date with what’s new with your company while also keeping you at top of mind for whenever they are in need of what you offer. Sending instant, non-intrusive notifications to users is the number one reason behind many business’ decision to incorporate a mobile app into their marketing assets.
One of the major benefits of a mobile app over a mobile website is the ability to offer a great deal of your content to users without an internet connection. While a lot of features still require an internet connection to be fully functional, there are many that can be used without it—allowing users to have your tools available to them whenever and wherever they need them.
While it may be easier to be discovered on a mobile website, thanks to the advancements in navigation capabilities available in mobile apps, it is much easier to push users down the conversion funnel. They can even be used to target specific types of users compared to the web where you are broadcasting to a wide and diverse audience.
At the end of the day, when it comes to making the choice between developing a mobile app or a mobile website, it all depends on your end goals. If you want to reach the widest possible audience with your content quickly, a mobile website is your best option. On the other hand, if your end goal is to increase loyalty with your customer base, push information directly to them without them having to search for it, and offer engaging factors such as media and games, then a mobile app is the ideal solution. If you decide you are in need of mobile app development services, put Xecuit’s team of experts to work for you.