Mobile App vs. Mobile Website: The Pros and Cons
Given how convenient mobile phones have become in recent times, more and more people are turning to their phones rather than their computers to use the Internet and do all kinds of activities. As a result, reaching out to mobile phone users has become ever more important for businesses interested in expanding its clientele. Often, these businesses are forced to choose between creating an app or setting up a website. Each option presents its own attractions.
App is shorthand for application, referring to computer software designed to handle specific tasks rather than manage the computer’s overall capabilities. In general, mobile apps are better suited for tasks that require interaction, personalization, and calculations using large amounts of data.
* Apps can run better by using code native to the platform and make better use of said platform’s native capabilities at the same time. For example, an app has an easier time using the camera than a website.
* Users spend more time using apps than the Internet, which means apps provide the business with more time to build customer loyalty.
* Apps can continue to be used even without access to the Internet.
* Apps are restricted to a single platform.
* Apps can be converted to other platforms, but getting the best performance possible requires the business to understand the platforms in question. Doing so requires lots of effort and resources.
* Users must spend more resources to gain access to apps, whether those resources happen to be cash or phone space.
As its name indicates, a mobile website is a website that has been optimized for access using a mobile phone. Optimizing a website in this manner does not need to compromise its performance on other platforms because such websites can be designed using responsive principles. Mobile websites often contain web applications, which are exactly as their name indicates.
* Mobile websites can reach more people because they are more accessible and can be easily found using search engines.
* Barring rare exceptions, websites are cross-platform, which further expands their potential user base.
* It is easier for the business to update its product and make aesthetic changes because the website is stored on a centralized setup.
* Websites tend to be less efficient and focused on carrying out their intended function because there is more clutter on websites than in apps.
* The business finds it more difficult to charge financial compensation because that defeats the website’s point of being accessible.
* Websites, even those including web applications, tend to be more limited in what they can offer due to performance issues.
In the end, there is no simple solution concluding that one option is better than the other. Each individual business must make the choice based on its own circumstances, because even small differences can tip the advantage to one option over the other. In some cases, the business might even be best served by creating both a mobile app and a mobile website to separate elements of the business’s potential user base.
In general, mobile websites are better for businesses attempting to spread its presence, while mobile apps are designed for established customers. Using both can help the business achieve both goals at the same time.
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy