App Vs Website: Which is Best for Your Business to Generate ROI?
Businesses really needed to go mobile as majority of the population across the globe own a smartphone of some kind. According to the Stone Temple survey, mobile devices accounted for 58% of the website visits in 2018. Further, a major chunk of the total time spent online (42%) can be attributed to mobile devices.
On first glance, both the mobile apps and websites appear to be quite similar; but in reality, they are quite different from each other. Whatever may be the medium, it is vital for businesses to ensure smooth user experience. The choice for the medium depends on a variety of factors, some of which include target audience, intended purpose, required features and the budget. But before you approach a website design and development company, or an app development company for mobile website or app development, you must have a thorough understanding of both, i.e., mobile websites and mobile apps. Let's take a closer look at some of the similarities and differences between mobile apps and mobile websites.
Similarities Between Mobile Apps and Mobile Websites
- Both the mobile app and mobile website are designed for an easy access by a smartphone or a tablet.
- Both enable social sharing with friends and followers.
- The mobile website as well as apps feature design elements that look good on even smaller mobile screens.
Differences Between Mobile Apps and Mobile Websites
- Unlike a mobile website, an app can be downloaded and installed.
- Even the mobile app works offline without any working internet or Wi-Fi connection.
- Interacts and often integrates device features that include the camera, calendar, etc.
Advantages of Mobile Apps Over Mobile Websites
Mobile Apps: The app developers design native mobile apps for specific platforms; be it iOS or Android. In general, native apps are faster, and more responsive than mobile websites.
Interactive Ways for User Engagement: Unlike mobile websites, the apps integrate features and allow users to interact more with the specific components of the app. For highly interactive games, apps are certainly the best option over the websites on account of interactivity.
Customization: Once the user downloads the apps, it allows them to customize the apps as per their needs. Apps can also track user engagement by offering custom recommendations and updates so that it is beneficial to the user. Businesses can use the info to send tailored recommendations to the users depending on the location, interests, usage behaviour and more.
Works Offline: Once, if you download the app, you can use it even without a working internet connection. This is not possible with websites, which requires the presence of a working internet connection.
Push Notifications: An intricate feature of the apps is to send push notifications to the user based on the set user preferences. However, the user needs to enable to allow push notifications in the settings.
More Intuitive Interface: Mobile apps also offer users with more intuitive user experience, thus making it easy to complete the tasks. The apps also offer users with the expected functionality and characteristics. However, this is not the case with mobile websites.
Makes full Use of Device Capabilities: The apps have direct access to some of the in-built device features such as the GPS and the camera. The feature accounts for enhanced user experience. In case of delivery apps, they can auto detect and send the parcel/courier directly to the specific area.
Advantages of Mobile Websites Over Mobile Apps
Availability: Mobile websites are readily available for access through smartphones, tablets or desktops. It is not the case with apps; the user must download the apps from the corresponding store before accessing the content.
Compatibility: The web developers create and design responsive mobile websites that are compatible across a range of devices, whereas the native apps require the development of a specific version for each type of device.
Broader Reach: Again here, the mobile websites gain the upper hand. It is easily accessible across various platforms, devices and completely outshines mobile apps in offering greater reach.
Affordability: Development of mobile websites is cost-effective and affordable when compared to native app development. Further, when mobile apps involve multiple platforms, there is an additional burden on investment.
Support and Maintenance: The investment in the mobile app does not end with the initial launch; maintenance of the app involves multiple testings, upgrades, addressing compatibility issues and so on. So, it incurs higher investment costs when compared to the websites over time.
Increased Visibility: Here, mobile websites definitely gives an edge over the apps! Mobile websites are indexed in the search results and also makes their way into search directories. Apps certainly lag in this area, as they have restricted presence only in the manufacturer app stores.
Which is the Better Option to Choose?
The number of global smartphone users continue to grow at an exponential pace. The rapid penetration of smartphones can be attributed to the availability of phones at affordable prices. As per the Newzoo report, the mobile app industry generated astonishing revenue figures of $92.1 billion in 2018. The figures are expected to swell to $139.6 billion by 2021. Also, there is a visible rise in the time spent on mobile devices by the passing day, and businesses can leverage this opportunity to develop an app service for greater outreach. On similar lines, it creates a wonderful opportunity for the best app development company to cash on the trend. The choice between a mobile app and mobile website, in turn, depends on the business objectives. If you are looking to offer mobile-friendly content to a majority of the population, then mobile websites are the best option. For better communication, interaction, and engagement with the customers to drive loyalty, then the mobile app is the way to go!