For any business brand, be it a start-up or an established one, it is vital to have an impactful digital presence either through a Mobile App or Website. When it comes to a business deciding whether to build a Mobile App or a Website, the right choice depends on various factors such as end goal, target audience, available budget & required features. These are two strikingly different mobile mediums, picking one out of these depends upon the fact what best addresses our needs. For e-commerce setups dealing with food ordering, restaurants, cloud kitchen, salon management & likewise, mobile apps serve as a better option than a website as they are much more easily accessible to users. On the other hand, if your business brand’s goals are primarily related to marketing or public dealing, then a website would be the right choice.
To decide what to opt between a website & mobile app, it is vital to understand the key points of differences between the two. A website consists of browser-based HTML pages, linked together and accessed over WiFi. Most websites these days have access to important mobile-specific features such as location-based mapping, call-to-action-buttons, etc. Mostly, Websites are adapted to mobile formats & can be accessed through an internet browser. There is no need to download a website or update it, as it’s automatized.
On the other hand, Mobile App is a program designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Mobile Apps are further categorized into 3 types: Web-Based Apps, Native Apps, and Hybrid Apps. Mobile Apps can be downloaded & updated from either App Store or Google Play Store.
Popularity: Mobile Apps are comparatively more popular among users than websites, moreover mobile users are more in number than desktop users.
Personalized Experience: Mobile Apps provide a better personalization experience than Websites, by offering features highly intuitive to user behaviour. This makes users feel that their needs are aptly addressed with the various features offered by the app, hence, increasing customer engagement.
Enhanced Tools: Mobile App A/B testing tools allow the business brands to steadily enhance their In-App user experience by experimenting with features, app flows, and other UI-based changes to improve user conversion & retention rate.
Ease Of Sending Notifications: In recent years, email open rates & click rates have been steadily dropping. Whereas, the push & in-app notifications sent by the Mobile Apps have high click-through rates.
Leveraging The Mobile to Its Best: Mobile Apps make the best use of mobile device features like camera, geolocation, contact list, phone calls, compass, etc. whereas, there are many technological constraints in websites to make the best use of mobile features.
Offline Operability: Mobile Apps are functional even without the internet. With this advantage, information can be accessed by users anytime, anywhere.
User Friendly: Websites are comparatively more difficult to handle than Mobile Apps, as they depend on browsers for key functions but Apps, on the other hand, are easy to handle and scale with pinch, swipe & drag features.
Brand Presence: Mobile Apps offer a new branding experience to the business and reflect the user's perception of the brand whereas, a poorly designed website can cause performance issues, cluttered design, and if over-optimized, things get worse with hard-to-read content.
Less Response Time: Mobile Apps have much less response time as compared to websites. Also, website pages take time to load whereas, on the other hand, Mobile Apps store data locally on the devices, hence having less response time, unlike websites, using web servers.
A Better CRM Platform: Mobile Apps are way better customer targeting tools than websites. They help in engaging, retaining & re-targeting customers by addressing their needs. They offer users a more intuitive user interface, making it easy to identify the patterns of customer choice.
High Conversion Rate: Mobile Apps lead to more conversions than websites hence pushing customers down the sales funnel. Being more targeted in nature, Mobile Apps tap specific audiences down the funnel, unlike websites that reach out to a wider set of audiences.
Engaging Users: Since apps are more mobile-friendly than websites, users tend to spend more time on Mobile Apps than Websites.
Competitive Edge: Having your website can make the business brands stay ahead of their competitors by gaining brand recognition. A well-optimized website with backlinks from recognised sites helps the business gain credibility.
Cost-Effectiveness: For any business brand, cost plays a vital role. Developing a website is much cheaper than developing a mobile App. Also, developing a website does not require different variants since it is generic for all operating systems. On the contrary, app building is a complex & costly process.
Easy To Find Online: Websites are much easier to find and the SEO of a website is easier than the entire App store optimization.
Easy To Share: As compared to Mobile Apps, websites are much easier to share. Technically, they are just a URL, and people don’t find any harm in visiting an authentic site with all necessary certifications.
Lifecycle: Mobile Apps usually have a shorter shelf life & are required to be updated from time to time to support a wide range of features & eliminate bugs whereas websites have a longer shelf life as they don’t need immediate updates.
Support & Maintenance: Not only Mobile Apps are costly to develop, but maintaining & updating them is also an expensive affair. Initial building & deployment of Apps take longer time & effort, whereas, websites are easier to maintain as per the owner’s hosting plan.
A few years back, the website was the first choice of business brands to digitize their businesses. But over the years, the use of websites has strikingly depreciated. Business Brands now go for Mobile Apps
Customer Experience: Making purchases through a website is tedious for the customers.
Not operational offline: Unlike Mobile Apps, websites can’t be accessed by users when no internet connection is available which hinders the process of conversion and purchase.
Lack Of Convenience: Websites can’t leverage all the mobile features efficiently. Also, most of the websites are not mobile-friendly.
An Average CRM Platform: Websites are the best tool for reaching out to a wider audience for creating awareness about the brand but not a tool to re-target customers & build relationships with them.
The above image depicts the wide range of features served by customized Mobile Apps over websites. Here, a comparison is drawn among 4 web-first companies - Rad Yes, Dot Pe, Thrive Now & Shopify with an App first company – Uengage. We can see that App first company, Uengage provides customized Mobile Apps to businesses with features ranging from web ordering to cloud kitchen support whereas Web first companies provide e-commerce websites with basic features limited to web orders, saving payment options, and in-built marketing, CRM, etc.
Which Is A Better Option
The statistics and above analysis favour Mobile Apps over Websites. According to a report from Sensor Tower, there were 1 billion first -time App installs during the second quarter of 2020, thus, giving more incentive to businesses to develop an app service. However, in many cases, when it comes to the business brand’s mobile strategy, it’s not a question of which is better between the two but perhaps a two-pronged approach.
We have now entered a digital age where mobiles have taken a surge over desktops and Mobile Apps have several features that websites don’t provide to the users. Mobile Apps provide the users with many features addressing the day–to–day needs of users such as online food ordering from restaurants or cloud kitchens, rider booking, salon booking, tracking CRM, etc. websites lag much behind apps and their use will decrease even further in the future.
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