Having a mobile strategy in place is absolutely critical to the success of small businesses and enterprises alike. With mobile app usage surpassing desktop usage, it’s clear that customers spend a majority of their time in apps. Consider that 90% of all mobile consumption occurs in apps.
Ideally, having a mobile website and app would be the best strategy to fully engage customers. But apps are expensive, so it’s key to find a firm who will work to lower the cost of building an app. Ultimately, which platform you choose to engage your customers in depends on your audience and their habits.
Regardless, the debate between mobile apps and websites still rages. There are clear advantages to both, which we’ll elaborate on further.
Mobile App Advantages
It’s evident that having a killer mobile app is the best way to engage your customers. Mobile apps are completely customized to provide a fully immersive experience that websites can’t offer.
Beyond this, mobile apps are usually designed to address user needs and pain points that other platforms can’t fulfill. Whether it’s providing greater convenience of service, a smoother interface, or a way to keep users updated through push notifications, apps provide full user experiences that a website can’t offer.
Advantages of Device
Mobile apps are a piece of software integrated into a user’s mobile device. This gives apps full use of different device hardware, such as cameras, push notifications, and even vibration for alerts to fully engage customers.
Apps also operate more efficiently then mobile websites, depending on the app of course. Primarily, the biggest advantage an app has over a mobile website is the ability to work offline. Being easily accessed from your pocket at all times tends to tip the scales in favor of mobile apps.
Better Branding Opportunities
Finally, apps provide greater branding capabilities then websites. With a fully customizable interface and design, apps offer yet another venue to showcase your brand’s colors and value to users. Since apps are developed for the sole purpose of better serving people, they can extend your brand well beyond your competitors.
Mobile Website Advantages
SEO and Advertising
While mobile apps may offer greater device capabilities, websites have greater marketing capabilities. Using SEO and paid advertising to drive leads to your business is a huge plus. All content you produce on your website also has the opportunity to reach more people via organic search or social. This provides greater reach, whereas apps are limited to the customers who already downloaded them.
The biggest advantage of the mobile website is that it’s far less expensive to build than a mobile app. Websites don’t need to be complex either. A landing page for sales leads might be enough to generate revenue for your business. Google even offers free website builders and a domain for small and local businesses.
Universal Device Use
Websites are also not limited to one device or OS like mobile apps. In fact, building an app for both OS’s is incredibly painstaking, whereas a website can be accessed by anyone with a web connection.
Both platforms offer their own unique set of advantages. Used in tandem, they can be a great one-two knockout for your branding and marketing campaign. Websites are a great way to reach new customers and apps to retain them. The decision comes down to budget and whether an app can improve upon your online presence or the existing product itself.