Website vs. Mobile Apps – A Comprehensive Comparison

It is as clear as it sounds that companies have become very much aware of the fact that adopting a mobile strategy is the way forward. Even the numbers suggest that more than 60% of web traffic is mobile-based these days. It should also be mentioned here that app usage has surpassed desktop usage. This has led companies to devise their own mobile strategies. The only major task they have been grappling with is whether to go for a mobile website or a mobile app.

Some businesses are of the view that they don’t need a mobile app because a mobile website will provide all the benefits they are looking to get from a mobile strategy. However, others believe that mobile apps come with the benefits that a website cannot provide. If we go into a little detail, we can clearly see that there are a myriad of factors that should be considered before making a final call.

Here we will compare the mobile website with mobile apps to determine which option is best for businesses.

Mobile Website vs. Mobile App – Numbers Game

It is expected that the mobile app revenue will reach a staggering $189 billion with figures increasing enormously. The global smartphone industry has shown slow growth in recent times but there has been no decline in the mobile app development industry.

On the other hand, desktop usage is also not slowing down even when mobile usage has surpassed it to a great extent. As per a recent report of Google, the average time spent on mobile browsers is much more than the average time spent on desktop browsers.

Mobile Website vs. Mobile App – The Difference

Both of these are easily accessible on a smartphone. A mobile website does not need to be specifically developed for mobile devices. It can be a responsive website that works perfectly on all devices. The benefit of a responsive website is that it can work equally well on mobile devices as on desktop computers.

In recent times, responsive websites have become a standard that most businesses are following. These websites can contain text, images, video, and data just like traditional websites. The best thing about mobile websites is that they can contain mobile-specific features like location-based mapping or click-to-call. These don’t occupy additional space on devices like mobile apps.

Contrary to mobile websites, mobile apps are downloaded and installed on a user’s smartphone. Mobile apps pull data and content from the internet and show it to the users even when there’s no internet connection. Let’s discuss the benefits of each of these two to help you reach the right conclusion.

Mobile App

A native mobile app is a software developed for a particular platform like Android or iOS, and it is installed on the device itself. This app is written in the language of the operating system of the device. Apps are considered a separate entity from the company’s website and they are a good way to promote the business.

Pros

A mobile app offers the following benefits to the company:

Branding

As discussed earlier, the number of mobile users has increased significantly over the last few years. A mobile app can be the best way to promote the business as a brand. Businesses can experiment with new branding strategies and styles using a mobile app. It offers a seamless user experience to the users that a mobile website cannot offer.

Also read: How Digital Designs Improve Branding & Communications

Customization

Today it is all about offering tailored communication to the users based on their interests, location, user-behavior, and more. Users no longer get impressed with general features; they want something special that caters to their needs. With mobile apps, it is easier to offer a personalized experience. Using the mobile apps, valuable information regarding user behavior can be collected that helps in devising the marketing strategy.

Utilize Device Functionalities

Unlike mobile websites, mobile apps interact with the device features and hardware like location, camera, contacts, and others. This feature is very crucial for retail apps as they enhance the customer experience. Apps like AliExpress also have introduced an image search facility in their app to facilitate the customers in finding the product using their mobile cameras.

Easy Access

Many mobile apps have the capability to run without an internet connection. Although most apps require a working internet connection, they can still offer content and features to the users in its offline mode. With this advantage, users can access information at any time and anywhere.

Brand Recognition

There is a stereotype that a business without a mobile app is not a brand. A lot of technical customers first research if a certain business is having a mobile app or not. The reason is that mobile apps interact with customers in a completely new way. If your business is something that most users would want to visit every day, a mobile app is what you need to offer them to promote yourself as a brand.

Increased Engagement

Mobile apps have their own unique interface which enables users to become more immersed in the mobile experience. They are built with a specific purpose, for example, convenient shopping. This is the reason why they address the pain points completely and makes it easier for a user to achieve a goal.

Mobile Website Benefits

A mobile website, as mentioned above, is a website having a responsive design and works on different screen sizes. It is just a customized version of a regular website that helps users acquire complete information without scrolling on the screen sideways. It offers the following benefits:

Broader Outreach

A mobile website is accessible across platforms and it can be easily shared through its URL. Even in the terms of the search engines, it has a greater reach as compared to a mobile app which is usually visible in the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

Cost-Effective

A responsive mobile website is more cost-effective than a mobile app because you don’t have to hire a mobile app development company for this purpose.

SEO Friendly

Today, it is the game of rankings. Every business wants to appear in the top of search engine results. A mobile website ranks higher on the search engines compared to websites that are not responsive. This offers greater brand visibility and brings a lot of traffic as well.

Although these are cost effective, they don’t offer personalization and engagement to the same level as a mobile app. Moreover, they also cannot access the phone’s capabilities easily. It should also be mentioned here that they require a working internet connection to display the data on the screens.

Mobile App vs. Mobile Website – Which Option to Choose

When it comes to deciding whether to go for a mobile app or design a mobile website, the right choice depends on the requirements and objectives of your business. If your goal is to offer more search-engine friendly content, you should probably go for a mobile website. However, if you want to promote your business as a brand and engage with the customers, a mobile app should be your top priority. If you are unable to make the right choice, sometimes both of them can be a valuable option for the business.

At ITspresso, we have an expert team of web developers and mobile app developers. We can help you make the right choice and offer our services at the best possible rates. If you are confused about your mobile strategy, you can contact us for a free consultation. Simply visit our Contact Us page or write us an email at [email protected].

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