In 2016, every brand needs a mobile presence. Unfortunately, proper investment is needed. Today, tons of companies are investing in mobile access—and each carries a unique, customer-centric approach. Mobile apps and mobile websites both offer versatility, responsiveness and quick-access. They are, however, very different from one another.
When deciding between a mobile-optimized website and a native app, you should determine your company’s needs. Every brand is different, and each benefits customers in different ways. If you’re moving to mobile—or, if you’re simply extending your company to mobile-enabled consumers, check out the comparisons between mobile apps and mobile websites below:
The Mobile Website: Far-Reaching and Fast
Mobile-based e-commerce is growing rapidly, justifying the use of smartphone-enabled web design. Last Cyber Monday, half of all e-commerce traffic was derived from mobile phones. Buyers prefer smartphones for browsing, researching, comparing and buying products—and they’re targeting mobile websites.
A Mobile Website in Motion
A mobile website offers higher accessibility than a mobile app. It’s accessible to any mobile user engaging a browser, and it removes the significant barrier standing between consumer and product. Mobile websites are compatible with QR codes, SMS and near-field communications, too.
Since 2014, the mobile world has considered mobile web access to be commonplace. Now, modern mobile commerce trends enforce that mobile websites must adhere to the following rules:
- They must be accessible within three clicks.
- They must contain clear visual paths with limited text.
- They must have a load time of approximately three seconds.
- Image files must be optimized for mobile viewing.
A mobile website is instantly upgradable, and it’s an indispensable e-commerce tool. If your brand wants to have a full-fledged online experience, it needs mobile web access.
The Mobile App: Local and Simple
While a mobile website is a superior brand promotion tool, a mobile app is unbeatable in terms of utility and company functionality. If your company is offering interactive services, digital in-store supplements and personalized options—it should develop a mobile app first.
A well-crafted mobile app enhances the user’s brand experience in a personalized way. Assuming your app experienced a good launch, it can engage consumers at incredible rates. Check out this article, and find out how you can get your app off the ground easily, safely and effectively.
A Mobile App in Motion
Today’s mobile apps excel in processing and native functionality. Much of mobile marketing steers towards data gathering as an end-game, and mobile apps have jump-started the industry’s ability to do exactly that.
Because consumers are using mobile apps a lot, your brand can target them on an ongoing basis. Your branded app’s complex calculations can determine buying cycles, behavior and preferences. Capable of being “hooked into” an automated SMS system, a mobile app can similarly provide information for complex consumer charts and reports.
A mobile app is invaluable to a company offering mobile-assisted services. In fact, many restaurants, electronics outlets and travel agencies rely on mobile app use. Companies like Uber, meanwhile, are entirely app-centric.
Brands do, however, need a full Internet presence to survive. If your brand is operating outside of mobile web access, it’s losing an incredibly large consumer population. Eventually, your company will need mobile web access. After 2018, companies without mobile web access will be at a significant disadvantage. If you can, create both a mobile website and a mobile app.
If you don’t have time, or have budget restraints, target the mobile website first. You won’t be disappointed in the long run, and you’ll fortify your brand for many years to come. Either way you decide, don’t forget to supplement your brand with a powerful media outreach campaign that will get the message in front of key influencers with the power to share and distribute your brand’s message to a vast audience.
What do you think of what I’ve covered so far? Will you adopt a branded mobile app for your business? I would love to read your comments below.