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Mobile website vs. a mobile app; which is the better option? Well, many factors will go into making the final decision. But first, in the modern environment, it is clear that mobile optimization is critical for any organization. 

Research indicates that the number of smartphone users has surpassed the 3.8 billion mark. That means about 48.2% of the world’s population owns a smartphone.

The popularity of such devices is attributable to the fact that customers like convenience and quick access to information. Such devices provide this and so much more.

Organizations must take advantage of such platforms to reach their customers. But, now comes the interesting question. Which is a better option between a mobile website and a mobile app?

Let’s explore the subject further in our article.

Understanding the Difference between a Mobile App and a Website

 It helps to start with an understanding of the difference between a mobile app and a website.

The similarity is that you must have a smart device to access either. 

When creating a mobile website, the web design company focuses on layouts that are specific to small screens or displays. You may find reference to this as the mobile-first approach in web design.

The teams design for mobile or small screens. After that it becomes easy to scale the elements to larger screens like PCs or laptops. Do note, all the elements within the mobile website remain similar to what you will find on a standard website. That includes the hosting of the site on a browser. 

A mobile app requires the user to download and install the actual application on a mobile device. For some, accessing content requires internet connectivity. Others can work offline by downloading the content onto the app. 

App or Mobile? Exploring the Pros and Cons

The best way to answer the question is to look at the pros and cons of each. But it helps to start with a good understanding of the organization’s needs. Also, have clarity on your goals and target audience.

Let’s say you are starting the process of brand building or having an online presence. In such a case, a mobile website would be your best option. If targeting Gen z and millennials, you can achieve a lot with a mobile app.

Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages before giving a verdict. 

Pros of Mobile Websites

  • Broad reach and easy shareability. Giving access is as easy as sharing the site URL. You can have the link on blogs, social media, emails, or even text messages.  
  • Instant accessibility without needing to download or install anything.
  • Cross platform, browser, and device accessibility. Some apps may only operate on specific devices or operating systems.
  • Mobile websites are ideal for Search Engine Optimization. Online users can find you easily by using the right search query.
  • Longevity and flexibility in maintenance. Making changes is something the web design company can do in an instant. For the mobile app, the process is more involving and time-consuming. The user must then run updates to enjoy the changes. A website will also last longer without needing too much work. To remain relevant and compete with other companies that are always launching apps, the organization must continue to innovate. Otherwise, the user will delete the app for more interesting, or relevant ones.
  • This brings us to the cost factor. With the point above, it is pretty clear that a website is less expensive.

Pros of Mobile Apps

  • A higher chance to engage with customers. According to Statista, eCommerce platforms like Amazon saw greater traffic from mobile apps than websites. The figures stood at 85% app usage compared to 15% website use. The same applies to other retailers like eBay, Nordstrom, Etsy, Walmart, and Kohls. But Home Depot, Macy’s and Target audiences preferred websites.
  • Mobile apps are more interactive and can result in better engagement. The organization has control over how immersive the mobile experience will be taking into consideration the characteristics and functionalities their customers expect.
  • Chances for better personalization by taking into account user behavior and interests. It also allows for better tracking of customer engagement using relevant metrics.
  • App notifications provide a more convenient, non-obtrusive way to reach customers with the right targeting. It is hard to achieve the same with email communication.
  • Ability to integrate the features you find on the mobile device. Such include contact lists, cameras, and GPS.
  • Access to content even when offline, for those apps that do not require internet connectivity.
  • Greater flexibility and customization in design features. Some options of such include hold, drag, pinch, swipe, or tap. The users also have a chance to choose their preferences when setting up the app.
  • Tons of options for different operating systems. You can check out some useful apps for Android here.  

 Is There A Better Option Between A Mobile Website And App?

The answer may be yes or no, depending on how you look at it. Without a doubt, both options are fantastic marketing tools for any organization.

As we have stated, your needs, objectives, and target audience will decide which one you go for. An entrepreneur trying to get online visibility would do better with a mobile website. It is cost-effective, provides tons of possibilities for SEO, and can reach a broader audience. 

 Mobile apps on the other hand are fantastic for interaction and engagement. Perhaps the biggest challenge would be to get people to download the app. That means whatever you offer must be relevant and provides a solution to an identified need.

Once the audiences know you, they will be more willing to download and try the app. The organization has more flexibility in the design and customization options. Personalization and app notifications are excellent ways to reach customers with targeted messaging.

And, if the statistics from Statista above are anything to go by, mobile apps are the preferred option amongst online customers. So, we cannot, in all fairness, tell you which the better option is. Only you can decide, once you have clarity on what you need. 

Final Thoughts

 We have looked at mobile apps vs. mobile websites above. Without a doubt, they’re both fantastic for any organization that is operating in the 21st century. You want a convenient way to reach your customers.

Targeting their preferred devices, in this case, mobile phones is a fantastic idea. Create brand visibility with a website, and scale up your marketing and brand visibility efforts with an app. In that way, you get to enjoy what both have to offer.

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