Few years ago, We knew that mobile phones can only send text messages and receive & make calls. Soon we were surprised by MMS, value added services etc. People started sending emails and chatting. Blackberry became the hottest thing for office goers.
Then we moved to another era which introduced us to touch enabled phones, a.k.a smart phones. In 2007, iPhone revolutionized the way we used mobile phones. We got introduced to App stores and a reason to get busier. We started spending hours on our iphones, androids and other siblings.
How has mobility changed ?
With more and more usage of data as compared to voice, mobile devices are now replacing desktops and notebooks. In last 4 years, mobile subscribers have increased tremendous and it is still growing rapidly. There were around 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide at the end of the 2011 as per estimation by The International Telecommunication Union
With the increasing adoption of smartphones and pads among mobile subscribers, they have started using mobile devices for accessing web, social networking websites, finding local restaurants, hotels and purchase also etc. With cloud computing, now we can work on our mobile devices and sync it with desktop apps. As per one projection by emarketer, mobile internet users will take over desktop internet users by 2014.
Nowadays people are using their smartphones from researching products and reviews, to compare prices of products, finding locations, redeeming coupons, shopping, reading newspapers / blogs and entertainment purpose.
[Source – comScore]
As mentioned in above report, mostly smartphones owner mostly read posts from people they know or brand / organization or events they follow, for receiving coupon/offer/deal and many more
How Mobile Users are Engaging?
Nowadays, brands have started adopting mobile as an integral part of their marketing strategy as reaching options to consumers on mobile devices are growing broader and less expensive as compared to other marketing channels. For businesses, choosing the right option is becoming difficult. It’s debatable whether to make mobile apps or mobile websites.
Comparing mobile web and apps for businesses
To help you choose the right option for your business, we have given essential compression between mobile apps and mobile web.
User Experience – With an application, you can provide more customized & personalized experience.
Mobile websites are better option for accessing content, catalogs and shopping functions because its accessible by search engines. It is also easy to drive mobile advertising traffic to mobile website rather than diverting to mobile apps store to interact with your site content.
Platform Independence – A mobile app has to be created differently for ios, android, windows and all other famous OS platforms, only then you can serve your mass audience. A mobile website can open in any mobile device and has to be created only once. A web will cost you much lesser than an app.
Cost – Creating an application will incur cost for all different mobile platforms, even update will cost you different resources and money for all operating systems. A website is a one time cost for all type of devices.
Update – If there’s a bug in the website, it can be solved and is updated real time for all device. An app will have to wait for next scheduled update or a manual update by the phone user. The same will be the case for a feature update.
Usage – For your first time customers who want to give your service a try, will have to go through their respective app stores to find and install your application and the use. While a website is only a click away to use. At the same time, an app which is download will stay in the phone and remind your user/customer to try it again. A website URL might get forgotten after a while.
After knowing scope of mobile apps and mobile websites, the next question arises in mind, whether should I create a mobile App or website for my audience?
Let’s consider some cases to find out which one should you choose?
What should you choose mobile apps or mobile website?
Case 1 – You are targeting niche segment
If you are targeting niche segment then you should choose mobile apps for your business. It is because you know your target audience segment and their usages behavior.
Hence, by choosing mobile apps, you can provide your consumers customized and personalized user experience for accessing your services via mobile apps.
Case 2 – Your have a good brand recall in the market
If your brand is so much popular and your website is getting decent amount of traffic, it’s good to go for a mobile app. Because your customers know you so well, they will not think twice before taking the pains of going to their app store and installing the application. e.g., Groupon is very popular daily deal website; it’s users will get an alert of any new deal on their smartphones, because consumers can access it with tap of one figure with the mobile apps, which doesn’t give the same experience when surfing a website.
Case 3 – You are targeting masses
What if you want to target mass market and measure traffic from search engine for your business then you should go for mobile website, as you can divert traffic from advertising campaigns and search engines to your mobile website’s landing page easily.
Case 4 – You are a new player in the market and want to serve users on the move
If you are a startup and want to make presence in mobile segment then it is better to start with a mobile website. As a mobile website works on all type of mobile phones as compared to an application which has to be created differently for all platforms. Nowadays, a website created for a computer can also load well using HTML5. A mobile website is a cost effective way for startups.
So, now you know whether you need a mobile app or a website for you business. But a mobile experience is a must have seeing the increasing number of users. If you don’t have it, plan for for one. Let us know in comments if this article helped you in finding what you need.
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