In Canada, more than 33% of the entire online traffic is accessed on mobile phones. It’s no surprise, then, that major brands and organizations are targeting mobile users to build a stronger online presence. But, we don’t see the same exuberance shared by small and medium businesses (SMBs). That’s because SMBs face a dilemma while choosing among mobile apps and mobile-friendly websites. Before deciding between the two, organizations need to know their requirements, budget, and the strengths and weakness of apps and websites. It is essential to map out your business goals and figure out the budget for your approach.
Undoubtedly, every organization needs a mobile-friendly website where they can showcase their products, services, and contact details. Mobile-friendly websites, made by web based app development, are suitable for viewing and sharing content. For example, a travel blogger can advertise their sponsors on a mobile-friendly website. In this case, creating a mobile app is not a necessity.
Creating and maintaining a mobile-friendly website is inexpensive compared to a mobile app. Additionally, mobile-friendly websites can help you attain a wider audience reach through SEO techniques and better brand visibility on search engines.
But, there are downsides for this approach. Websites do not have the feature of sending push notifications on mobile devices, and no offline access. And, sometimes mobile-friendly websites can be cluttered and poorly designed with choppy animations. Furthermore, mobile-friendly websites cannot access any essential phone capabilities such as camera and calling.
In many ways, mobile apps can do things that websites simply cannot. Mobile apps have a user-friendly layout and provide personalization options to create a user-specific app experience. And, mobile apps send push notifications for important updates. Plus, mobile apps can be accessed offline or with a weak network. Web based app development lacks in providing some of these features.
Organizations choose mobile app development for mobile users to engage and interact with customers, and build brand loyalty. Mobile games need to have an app, social media platforms like Snapchat and dating platforms such as Tinder mostly operate via mobile apps. Over 178 billion mobile app downloads were recorded in 2017 itself. Hence, every major brand is developing a mobile app to benefit from the ever-rising online traffic on mobile platforms.
But, there is a catch here, developing mobile apps can be expensive when compared to mobile-friendly websites. Additionally, mobile apps need extra setup as they are platform-dependent, and developers can charge more for building apps for various operating systems.
Alternatively, some businesses that have the budget for both apps and websites opt for both. In this approach, the businesses take advantage of both the platforms to offer better services to their customers. And, in some cases, it is absolutely necessary to have a website and a mobile app. For example, an Indian e-commerce giant redirected all their mobile website traffic to their app, which severely backfired. Generally, e-commerce giants such as Amazon and eBay, and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter use an app along with their website.
Before adopting any approach, organizations can reach out to skilled professionals who have expertise in building mobile-friendly websites and web based app development. And, such professionals will help in strategizing for minimizing costs and efficient utilization of the mobile platform.