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Published on November 27th, 2015 | by Guest

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Mobile App vs Mobile Site – which one is more beneficial to your business

With the mobile sector on the rise, businesses which fail to make themselves accessible via mobile devices will get pushed out of the market. If you haven’t established your mobile presence, this is the last call. But should businesses choose mobile websites or apps? Both can retain loyal customers, boost sales and expand the reach of their brands. Just because they’re both accessible from mobile devices doesn’t mean that they’re one and the same thing. Here are a few tips to help you decide what are the differences between the two and which solution can benefit your business most.

Mobile Apps

Mobile app and mobile website – how do they differ from each other?

A mobile app is basically a smartphone or tablet application. Before it can be accessed, a mobile app needs to be downloaded and installed – they cannot be rendered in mobile browsers like websites. Users can typically find the app in an app marketplace like the Apple App Store, Android’s Google Play store or Balckberry App World. Some apps require constant access to the internet in order to pull content and data – others offer content without the need of an internet connection.

A mobile website, on the other hand, can be accessed simply through a mobile browser such as Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android. All it takes is typing the URL or clicking on a link to the website – it will automatically detect the mobile device and redirect the viewer to the mobile version of your website. Mobile websites are designed specifically for the smaller screens and touch-screen capabilities of smartphones and tablets. Like other websites, mobile websites can display text content, images and videos. You can add mobile-specific features such as location-based mapping or click-to-call.

Benefits of a mobile website

Businesses build mobile websites primarily because they want to provide their mobile users with great experiences. A mobile website can include all the same elements as the regular version of the website like its pages, images, content and look.

But all of this is situated on a mobile-friendly layout which offers improved readability and functionality when the website is being viewed on a smartphone or tablet. By having a mobile website, you’ll make sure that customers can access it anytime and anywhere, using any device they like – and you won’t be compromising the user experience.

Benefits of a mobile app

Even though a mobile app functions more or less like a mobile website, it gives businesses a significant advantage – they can create their own place on a customer’s device. Since users have to download and install the app, businesses gain more control over their presence on a device than they could ever dream of with a mobile website.

A mobile app can be closed or inactive, but it will still work in the background and send geo-targeted push notifications or gather data about customer preferences and behaviors. Mobile apps are just perfect if you’d like to deploy loyalty programs or use mobile payments on a single platform. Accessing a mobile app takes one tap, which is much less than actions required by mobile websites.

Features of mobile apps and websites

Even if mobile websites and apps aren’t the same thing, you’ll notice that they generally offer the similar features which can be of great help if you want to expand your brand and grow your business by being easy to find and reach. Here are some features to help you decide on one or both of these solutions:

  • Mobile marketing – users can sign up for marketing lists or loyalty programs, helping you to launch location-based text-message marketing and classic email marketing campaigns.
  • One-click calling – tapping on your phone number on the website or app, users can automatically call your business.
  • Click-to-map – user devices are equipped with GPS which will help them to locate your business and get instant directions without having to manually input your address into their Maps app.
  • Mobile commerce – m-commerce is all the rage right now and you can easily create an online mobile store with e-commerce-capable websites and apps. Your mobile website or app can have all classic features like Buy Now buttons or mobile carts.
  • Social sharing – this is an excellent tool for digital marketing. Both websites and apps can be integrated with social media apps on user devices, helping them to easily share your content with their followers.

Building a mobile app and website

If you’re interested in building a mobile website, you can either hire a developer to create one from scratch or convert your website into a mobile-friendly version. You can also look into more affordable options, such as building a website with a free mobile website builder. Using drag and drop interface, such tools can help you to create a website even if you posses no web development or coding skills.

For building a mobile app, your best strategy is to simply hire an app developer to help you bring your brand new app to light. You can also check some budget-friendly DIY mobile app makers, but these will never completely fill the role of a developer.

It’s safe to say that having no presence on the mobile scene is a major marketing sin. By developing a mobile website or app, you can take your business to the next level, expand your reach and help customers to find you on the go.

 

About the author:

Marleen Anderson is a technology blogger working for Saxons – IT support company from Australia. She loves spending her free time taking long strolls on the nearby beaches.

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