Mobile Site vs Mobile App

Mobile website or application?

Mobile site vs. mobile app

For most of us, it is a dilemma – to opt for a mobile website or a mobile application? As a service provider, one would want a superior brand experience for the customer and a better brand interaction. But then the question haunts us “is this really necessary?” Your mobile strategy is a critical business decision. There are however a few factors that need to be considered before harping on the journey of creating a interactive mobile interface for your customers.

  1. Product or service. Your product or service will largely guide the choice of option you would want to pick up. For retail outlets, e-commerce or entertainment platforms having a mobile website may do justice to the constant searches that consumers carry out on their mobiles. On the other hand, news platforms, travel package portals, software solutions, job sites, map sites etc. will be more successful with a mobile application supporting its customer interface. According to recent data from Flurry Analytics, Comscore and others, pulled out by the advertising agency MDS, mobile websites are used more for shopping, searching, and entertainment. Mobile applications are more popular for managing data, seeking information and remaining connected.
  2. Current level of engagement. Before moving onto your mobile anchor, it is important to understand the level of interaction your brand currently has with your target audience. A brand which has not yet gone beyond a website may want to focus on acquiring understanding of your users’ expectations and behavior before connecting with them through a mobile application. The starting steps here would be getting into the social space and having a mobile website.
  3. Target audience (Mass vs Niche): A highly optimised mobile website establishes your presence on mobile. However, an application takes it a level ahead and engages the customer. While it may be best to have both a website as well as application on the third screen to connect with your audience, a better understanding of whom you want to connect with on mobile can help you resolve the dilemma. If the locus of the effort is to target a definite profile of the target audience rather than the masses, it would be more fruitful to use a mobile application.
  4. Resources at hand: Developing a mobile application is comparatively complex, expensive and time consuming process compared to mobile website development. Creating an application which will aptly create a brand experience for your customer requires technical as well as a creative cocktail. A mobile website, on other hand, requires a simplistic approach is which aids in quick and easy navigation and readability. A application hence takes more time to be created and then made functional on desired mobile platforms.
  5. . What are your business objectives you look at achieving through your mobile presence – increasing the efficiency of supply chain management, reducing the TAT for customer service, increasing the efficiency of sales people, lead generation, increasing revenues, or creating customer loyalty. Keeping in mind how well a mobile website or an application can fulfill these goals and objectives, your mobile strategy can be deployed.

Mobile has ushered in new sets of possibilities and opportunities. How is this domain going to change itself remains to be seen. While are changes are rapid, staying ahead of the curve will define the success in future. Whether a mobile site or an app, there will perhaps be something more powerful that the future will bring in. But till then, what is the most suited way to capture and hold your audience is a decision you can make best for your business.

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