Would it be wrong if I say that mobile has put the whole world in our hands? Doesn’t everything feels just a click away these days? According to the statistics around 64% of the earth's population was using mobile phones in 2017. The number of mobile users is predicted to reach 5.07 billion in 2019. This is certainly the largest number of people you can reach through one platform. Hence marketing companies and agencies are finding new and better ways to reach out to this huge audience.
As a business owner, you too must have thought of how to reach out to more audience. You too must have considered leveraging this technical advancement and market your product better. But even mobiles are not just simple devices today! You might also be confused about what is better for your business? Your mind too must be juggling between mobile app vs mobile website.
First of all you must know what is a mobile app and a mobile website. A mobile app is an independent software program with its unique functionality and features. Running of these apps also depends on the device, if it supports it or not! A website on the other hand is a browser supported information center. This page can be accessed by any device that has a browser and an internet connection.
Now, before you make any big decisions about whether to get a mobile website or a mobile app for your business. Here in this blog we explain every pro and con about both the platforms. This might help you take the big decision for your business!
Statistics background for mobile app vs mobile website
As stated above 64% of our population on earth were already using mobile phones until 2017. These numbers of mobile users is expected to cross a number of 5.05 billion in 2019. More than half of the world’s population uses the internet on a daily basis. Out of which 1.19 billion people are using around 4GB internet data every month. With all the technical advancements and falling data prices! Mobile and internet users on mobile phones are increasing every day. If you are already impressed by these statistics, then I must tell you that these numbers are constantly increasing! Even when you read this blog.
Due to this huge audience and untapped marketing potential, digital marketing and online businesses are also growing rapidly. Other well established businesses, whether big or small are also adapting to these changes. Every business is looking for options and opportunities to take their business online. So now here we evaluate both the options thoroughly for you to take a decision.
Mobile apps are small applications or you can say software programs. These applications are developed for a specific task only, which they perform efficiently. Mobile apps are also more user friendly as they have been developed for this purpose only. Mobile apps can be downloaded using Google play store or any other app store according to the OS in your mobile. Because these mobile apps are more user friendly and give faster access, people tend to use it more. According to a survey done in 2016, around 90% of people preferred using mobile apps over websites. The time people tend to spend on mobile apps has also increased by a significant share in a last few years. Different age groups prefer to use applications over mobile websites. This is also because of the vast number of applications available for various purposes.
Today there are more than 2 billion applications available for different purpose on Google Play Store. 178.1 billion mobile application downloads were recorded in 2017. In 2018 this number has already crossed 200 billion. These statistics clearly show that the mobile apps are winning over websites! But don’t get to the conclusion so fast, there is a lot more to discuss. These numbers are also increasing because a lot of tasks cannot be performed by a mobile website. Fitness tracker, cab booking, ordering food or any other task that requires real time involvement can’t do without a mobile app. A mobile app also gives a lot of functionality to the business owner. You can send push notifications directly to the customers. Also, you can save your customers personal data for easy and faster use. Although these features might hamper your data security sometimes.
Ease of use and time saving: While using an application all you have to do is click on the icon and you have the access to its functionality. This also saves a lot of time. Whereas to go to a website you have to go to your browser and then search and open that website. Push notifications help the developers connect with his/her audience directly and efficiently. Mobile applications, undoubtedly give your customers a better experience.
Easy Interface: In a mobile application the developer customize and optimize its functionality according to use. The developer makes it such that it is super easy to sail through the application. Developer does not keep any feature that is not useful and keep the design useful for customers. Some apps also give users the option to customize it according to the customer.
Can have limited functionality offline: This is one of the biggest advantages of a mobile application over the website. A website is absolutely inaccessible if you do not have an Internet connection. Whereas in an app you can provide a little offline support to some extent. The developer can leave some guidelines or support uploaded in the app! These guidelines can be viewed by customers even if he/she is not connected with the internet.
Compatibility: You need to check and see if your app is compatible with all the devices. Every device has different OS! Not all the programs are compatible with every OS. Hence, the developer needs to see that his application is compatible with every free operating system and make changes accordingly.
Maintenance: Application does not work like a website such that you put it up and forget about it. You need to maintain and update your application constantly. This is the reason why small business owners shy away from mobile apps! As these apps are not one time investment, they take constant investment and time to succeed.
A mobile website is browser-based HTML page which can be loaded only when you are connected to the internet. A mobile site is not very different from the regular website. The only difference is that it is optimized to fit in your mobile screen easily. Because opening a website in mobile is only useful if it is readable. These days people are adding various functionalities in mobile websites only. These designs are more responsive, so as to connect with the user better. Since developing a mobile app is a little costlier than a website. These functionalities and lower cost of a mobile website is making the tussle between apps and website more interesting.
Compatibility: Unlike mobile website you do not need to check and work on compatibility in a website. A website can be accessed from any device that is connected to the internet. You only need a browser and an internet connection to access any website from your phone. This also reduces the work of the developer. Also, we can incorporate many interactive features in our mobile website these days.
Accessibility: Since there is no compatibility issue, it is clear that a website has better reach. You can reach a wide range of audience through a website. Also, the interactive features in the websites make it easy for users to use.
Maintenance: A website does not take that much effort to maintain as the application. You can just upload a static website and forget about it until you have response to it. Even if you need to make changes in your website it does not take as much effort as an application takes.
Integration and features: You cannot integrate features of a smartphone with your website. This restricts the functionality of a website in some ways. Whereas in an app you can integrate camera, GPS and other features with your application. This improves the functionality and features of an application more than a website. Hence, you can say that an application is more convenient to use than a website.
User interface: User based interface is the biggest advantage in an app. There are limited options in a website to make it interactive. Whereas in an app you can customize it completely according to the user’s perspective.
No offline support: This is again a big disadvantage of a mobile website. As you cannot access the website at all if you are not connected to the internet. This is not the case with the application as you can open an application even when the internet is not available. Any guideline or support on the website is useless if you are not connected to the internet.
Now that you know every Pro and con involved in mobile app vs website. You can now decide whether to get an application for your business. You must also evaluate your business needs before taking a decision.