Everybody knows that more and more people are using smartphones to access your company information online. If you haven’t already, at some point this year you will need to decide what is the best way to embrace all of these potential customers. Since the number of smartphone users has increased, the desire of users to access information in a easy to digest format has also increased. More and more potential customers are leaving websites in favour of other websites where they can access information in the easiest manner.
Take a look at this hypothetical situation. You are on a train, trying to kill some time and decide you want to buy a new laptop. First of all, you decide to check out PC Worlds website on your iPhone. Quickly after arriving on the website you realise the menus are far to small to select without zooming in. Once you have zoomed in you can’t see enough of the page to select a sub menu. At this point you have already decided to load up Amazons website which is mobile friendly and placed your order.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that your potential customers may be experiencing the same problems with your own website.
That leaves you with a quite a difficult question. Should I develop a mobile website or a mobile app? First of all, lets have a look at the difference:
Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on a handheld devices such as smartphones, including iPhone, HTC, Samsung and Blackberry.
A mobile website is similar to any other website in that it consists of web browser HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the Internet, either by WI-FI or 3G. The only thing that distinguishes a mobile website from a standard website is the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface.
Apps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on your mobile device. Users visit specific portals such as The App Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World in order to find and download apps for their smartphone. The app may pull content and data from the Internet, in similar fashion to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection.
So, which is better? A mobile website or an App? It all depends on how you want to engage your customers.
When it comes to deciding whether to build a native app or a mobile website, the most appropriate decision depends on your end goals. If you are developing an interactive game an app is probably going to be your best decision. However if your goal is to offer mobile-friendly content to the widest possible audience then a mobile website is probably the best way to go. In some cases you may decide you need both a mobile website and a mobile app.
Usually, a mobile website should be considered your first step in developing a mobile web presence, an app is useful for developing for a very specific purpose that cannot be accomplished with a mobile website.
As the number of smartphone users increases, the “app versus mobile web” question will remain a real consideration for companies seeking to establish and grow their mobile presence. If your goals are primarily marketing driven, or if your aim is to deliver content, then a mobile website is the logical choice. If your goal is interactive engagement with users, or to provide an application that needs to work more like a computer program than a website, then an app is likely to suit your needs better.
If you are not sure which would work best for you, feel free to get in touch and we can explain your options further