Mobile internet and smartphones have entirely changed the way people interact with each other. A significant impact has also been observed in the shopping behavior of customers. As per the forecast of Statista, the number of mobile users will reach 4.78 billion by 2020. Moreover, the number of mobile retail commerce buyers is expected to reach 1 billion in the year 2018. These statistics clearly reveal that how fast mobiles are taking the eCommerce market by storm.
The latest mobility trends have made organizations to redesign their mobile strategies in alignment with their digital transformation objective. But when it comes to choosing between a mobile application and mobile web, most of the business owners get confused. Here, we have compared both the platforms to help you arrive at the right decision.
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Mobile Application vs Mobile Website
Both mobile websites and applications are accessed through a mobile device. Just like a website, a mobile app also pulls data and content from the Internet. Some apps allow you to download the content that can be accessed even if you are offline.
A mobile website comprises interlinked browser-based HTML pages and can display video, images, data, and text content. These websites also have mobile-specific features such as location-based mapping, click-to-call, etc. Responsive mobile websites are designed for different mobile platforms and can easily run on screens of different sizes. It is essential to have an internet connection to access mobile websites.
Advantages of Mobile Applications over Mobile Websites
Instant Notifications Sending
Most of the businesses prefer mobile apps due to their ability to send instant notifications. You can send either in-app (users will receive notifications when they open the app) or push notification (users will receive notifications even if the app is not open). However, push notifications deliver better click-through rates in comparison to in-app notifications.
Push notification services are also available on mobile websites through third-party services but have some limitations.
Accessible in Offline Mode
Like mobile websites, mobile apps also require users to have an internet connection to complete most of the tasks. However, some functionalities and content can be accessed in offline mode in case of mobile apps. For instance, a banking app may provide some features such as loan limit calculation, tax and installment calculation, etc.
Mobile websites, on the other hand, load web pages without internet connection using caching, but offer limited functions.
Leverages Some Features of the Mobile Device
Mobile apps can use some features of the mobile device such as compass, accelerometer, GPS, contact list, camera, etc., to make the user experience interactive. It reduces the time required to perform certain tasks in an app and increases the rate of conversions.
Mobile websites can also use GPS, camera and other features of a mobile device, but have some technical restraints in using multimedia features of a mobile device.
Offers Better Personalization
Mobile apps let you add a touch of personalization while interacting with your customers, thus making their experience delightful. You can identify the real-time locations of users and track user engagement with the help of mobile applications and can use this information to send custom updates and recommendations to users.
Fast Speed and Better Performance
Improves Brand Presence
According to a survey, mobile users spend just 14% of their time on mobile websites and the remaining 86% time on mobile applications. Most of the users frequently open the apps installed on their devices. Mobile apps influence the perception of the user for a particular brand. As a matter of fact, the icon of the app on users’ devices keeps them reminding of the brand, thus helping in brand reinforcement.
Better Chances of Lead Conversions
As mobile apps are targeted to specific users, there are higher chances of conversions. Mobile websites, on the other hand, cater to a wide range of audience.
More Design Options
Based on advanced gestures like ‘hold,’ ‘pinch,’ ‘drag,’ ‘swipe,’ ‘tap,’ etc., mobile apps provide freedom to designers to design elaborate functions. Mobile websites have some design restrictions as they rely on browser features like ‘address bar,’ ‘refresh button,’ ‘back button,’ etc.
If your business objective is to establish a wide mobile presence that can be maintained on search engines and shared between users, then a responsive mobile website is the best fit for you. And if you are looking for better options to add personalization and reinforce your brand, a mobile app is the best pick.
Depending on your brand positioning, marketing goals, and business strategy, you may choose a mobile app or a mobile website or both. One important aspect to take into account is; count on an experienced mobile app development company and mobile web design and development agency that will drive your digital transformation journey and keep you ahead of the competition.