Here is a comprehensive review of the advantages and disadvantages of both a mobile application and a mobile website. This article should help you make a smarter decision as to which is best for your needs, or if you need both marketing tools.
* Mobile Website: A website that has been specifically designed and built for mobile devices. A user can access a mobile website via the mobile web on any mobile device.
Please note: If you have a website that was designed for the internet and to be viewed on a desktop computer, it will display on a phone. However, it will be too slow for downloading, too hard to read, to difficult to use and/or not provide the information needed by a consumer on the move.
• Mobile Application: Software that is designed to run on mobile devices. A user downloads the application to reside on a mobile device. It tends to be limited to one operating system and device.
A. Mobile Apps
– Convenient: Provides fast and easy access for consumers as it resides on their mobile device.
– Fully loaded content: Easily handles in-depth content, rich media, and location of user/GPS functionality.
– Time: A user knows how much time is required to use an application after its first use.
– Analytics: You can add in tracking to discover the actions of the user.
– New idea: You can create a new concept that provides for an involving, entertaining, and/or productive experience for the user.
– Generate revenue: You can establish a price for a user to download your app.
– Limited reach: An application has limited reach as different apps are required for different platforms (such as iPhone or Android).
– Cost to develop: The cost to build an app can be high. Even low-priced developers price these services to start at $1,000.
– Marketing cost: There are millions of mobile apps in the marketplace. There is both the time and financial cost to stand-out from the competition.
– Life expectancy: A user who downloads an app deletes an app that is not used often enough or it can get lost in all the other apps that have been downloaded.
– Approval process: Even after developing the app, Apple must review and approve.
– Upgrades: User must download to have the latest application upgraded.
– Value proposition: While the prices to build an app continue to decline, the difficulty to stand out and be noticed has increased dramatically.
B. Mobile websites
– Broad reach: Reaches anyone who has internet access via a mobile device.
– Be found: Will appear in search results.
– Stand-out: Few businesses have made built a mobile site. This allows you to stand out from your competition and in your local search results.
– Consistent branding: Provides a consistent look and feel for your business.
– Do a traffic check: You have users that access your current website via mobile devices today. Check your analytics and discover the number of mobile visitors.
– Longevity: It can last you for as long as you are in business.
– Upgrades: No need for approvals or user downloads to improve or update your content.
– Marketing integration: Integrate your site into your mobile marketing promotions.
– Analytics: Learn more about those that visit you via the mobile web.
– Pricing is low: The prices is very affordable.
– Does not sit on a customers desktop like an app. It needs to be bookmarked to be found as quickly.
– Must be designed to work on all mobile devices.
– Flash does not work on iPhones.
– Requires you to make choices as to which information from your website will be included and how it should be presented.
Ask yourself these questions:
– What are your business objectives?
– What do you want your consumers to do when they come into contact with your business from a mobile device?
– What must you provide to get consumers to take that action?
– Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a mobile app and mobile site.
– What are the costs and benefits for your business?
Your answers to these questions will help to guide your decision.