Previous year, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop internet usage was heading the news. But now, there is more addition to the news. Not only the huge number of mobile-only internet users have overtaken desktop-only but also the app usage has surpassed the desktop usage. If the statistics are to believe then multi-platform usage in retail rose continuously as compared to other verticals.
As a result, seeing the current trend going in the market, almost every business is planning to have a mobile presence for their organization. But, the foremost thing that they need to take into consideration is that whether they wish to develop a mobile app for the users or a mobile website or both. Though both mobile apps and mobile websites look very much alike at the first-glance but to finalize which is the most suited for your organization will depend on various factors such as available budget, target audiences and requisite features.
Major difference between Mobile applications and Mobile websites
It’s essential to first understand the vital differences between the two. Both the mobile apps and websites can be easily accessed on the smartphones or tablets.
Likewise any other website, a mobile website basically comprises browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the internet. The major feature that differentiates a mobile website from any standard website is the fact that it is specifically designed for the smaller display and touch-screen interface. Moreover, the responsive web design is becoming the latest trend for websites which is not only mobile-friendly but can also scale to any sorts of devices.
Benefits of mobile website
Nowadays, shopping on mobile is sky-rocketing. It almost accounts for over more than half of all the e-commerce traffic and a mind-boggling 78% of mobile searches for local businesses result in the purchase.
Considering the major activity, having a website optimized for mobile is essential. Some of the major advantages of mobile websites include:
Excellent Customer Experience:
As the demand of shoppers is increasing day by day, the eCommerce shoppers are looking for a multi-channel and multi-device experience to be present for them. Retailers who do not own a mobile website yet are failing to reach to almost 50% of the e-commerce market.
As the website is fully responsive, it can manage all screen sizes from a single build, thus reducing the cost of developing multiple websites. The users can easily visit, search their desired item and shop from all types of devices.
Huge Customer Base:
Though the in-app activity is on rise, the majority of customers still prefer mobile web. Customers who do not trust your brand are still a big market and making the website that makes their purchase easier will help you in reaching a broad customer-base.
Mobile applications are software applications that can easily be downloaded and installed on the mobile device from the Play Store instead of being rendered within a browser. Earlier, apps were designed in order to provide the users with a similar experience as a website that can easily be accessed on the desktop. But now, apps are highly specialized software that serve as a major part of a business’s mobile strategy.
These days, mobile apps are affecting the retail to a great extent more than any other industry. Earlier in the year 2014, usage on shopping apps almost increased by 174%. Moreover, as per the Cisco’s 5th Annual Retail Survey, it was seen that approximately 55% of shoppers utilize retail’s app for shopping. Thus, it can be said that the market for mobile app is sky-rocketing and it offers numerous benefits than other channels.
Vital Advantages of Mobile Apps
The major benefit of mobile apps is that it can facilitate mobile payments as well as rewards programs on one single channel. Trustworthy programs can be taken up on a more concretized level that offer deals based on not only earlier purchasing patterns but also customer’s location within interests, stores and many others.
Awesome consumer experience:
The customer’s experience should be kept on top when it comes to shopping. As per the Cisco survey, it states that the context and hyper-relevance is the perfect way to win over digital customers. A mobile app can be considered as the best way to enhance the experience of the customers. The app basically act as an extension of the retailer’s brand and provide exceptional features. Some of the possibilities can be:
- Distinctive offer via push notification
- Easy payment option from the customer’s devices
- Making use of the beacon technology to customize the shopping experience
In order to deliver the most personalized and hyper-relevant experiences to the customers, it is essential to first understand the customers needs which require their data. With the help of mobile apps that offer incomparable analytics, retailers can easily understand the growing requirements of the customers and take useful decisions that will definitely improve the shopping experience and drive sales.
Apart from this, the other main benefit of mobile apps is that the retailers are provided with the real estate on their customers’ devices that are being carried by them at all places. With the help of a well-designed apps, retailers are able to have their store right on the fingertips of their prospective customers.
In a nutshell
As mobile usage continues to grow on a larger scale, the app vs web question will continue to appear for the organizations who are wishing to develop a mobile presence. If you want to have a mobile presence from the marketing point of view, or if you want to have an online presence that can easily be maintained and found on search engines, then to have a fully responsive mobile -friendly website is the perfect choice.
Similarly, there are companies that wishes to provide their customers with an excellent user experience that makes them feel more like a gaming interface than a website. Or there are some which are in need to access to a user’s native functions, then developing an app would be highly beneficial. But, as per the latest trend, it is more advantageous to have a mobile app in order to reach to your prospective customers.
At the end, it is beneficial for retailers to create mobile website as well as a mobile app. Though majority of the shoppers will search, visit and shop making use of the mobile web but your regular customers are demanding exceptional shopping experiences, trust integration and trendy ways for engaging with your brand.
This article is penned down by Ashni Sharma who is presently working as a mobile app developer with a leading app development company AppsChopper. Having a knack of writing, she has shared her extensive knowledge by writing such informative article.