Did you know that the number of mobile users is actually greater than the number of desktop users! You probably did know this as it’s no big secret in the tech industry that mobile use over the past decade has skyrocketed.
Businesses’ have finally realised the need and desire to effectively use mobile channels to attract and retain their customers. It isn’t just about having your website looking passable on a mobile device anymore, you now need to optimise mobile apps and websites fully to improve your customer's experience to help increase your conversions.
When it comes to large corporations and big businesses, they can afford to employ both a mobile website and app, however, for most companies it’s more likely a case of choosing between one or the other. The main deciding factors between which route you down will likely depend on budget, usability, required features, and also the type of audience you serve.
Previous studies have shown us that users tend to lean more towards mobile apps rather than mobile websites which makes strong reasoning to create a mobile app for your business. However, in this article we will be talking you through Responsive websites, Mobile sites, PWA’s, and Mobile Apps, defining the differences between them, as well as pros and cons to each.
Hopefully, by the end of this, you will work out if you need one for your business and which approach to opt for.
A responsive website is a single website that displays itself differently depending on what type of device it's being used to view on. Website visitors tend to expect it these days so it’s way more important than just being "something to think about further down the line" if you're currently in a website design phase.
Building a responsive website is a great option for small businesses with a small budget. It means only one website needs to be built and as long as it's optimised correctly for mobile users it can do wonders for your customers.
A typical mobile ‘version’ or mobile site tends to be slightly less common these days and aren't the most popular choices.
There is a big giveaway if you’re currently viewing a mobile site and that being if there's an ‘m’ at the start of the URL in the browser. Another key indicator is that the site will tend to feel and function slightly differently from what you’re used to using on the desktop version. Mobile websites tend to be designed to give people fewer options to choose from and fewer data to download. The main action the user will need to take is going to be more more prominent on the screen and appear as an obvious choice.
A stand-alone app or application is a packaged up bundle of files, installed and ran from your mobile device. While there are some incredible statistics about the amount of time people spend browsing the internet via apps, it’s important to understand and work out whether your type of business will actually see a return on investment from an app over a mobile optimised website.
Some apps will offer very similar content to match their websites, however, an app shouldn’t be just your whole desktop version of your site wrapped up in app form. Apps should offer a way for your users to do things more efficiently, easier to use or even integrate with other features of their phone such as the camera, GPS, or ability to talk to other popular applications the user might already have installed.
Native apps can be a great power tool if you're the type of business where you want to encourage daily, regular usage, or customer loyalty. The best way to think about the prospects of a mobile app for your business is that are you able to offer your customers a better service or a different experience that will benefit them more?
Progressive Web Apps is when a website looks, feels, and acts just like an app and can be installed onto a tablet or phone device without the means of physically having to download anything from their app-store.
Whilst a Web App can be installed, it’s only partially saved to the device and only its core data is kept. Think of it purely as a hybrid of both a fully native application and responsive website.
Progressive WebApps also allow some offline use, this is great for users as it allows them to view data, update records or submit information while offline and any of these changes would be published once connectivity is resumed.
So there you have it, 4 separate approaches when it comes to how you wish to connect with your customers through the likes of mobile. When it comes to which is best for your business it's purely down to your business model, clientele, and how much time and investment you want to put behind the project.
Whether you’re looking for a responsive website design, a completely separate app, a clever CMS, or pretty much anything in between we can build it and would love to hear your ideas, just get in touch with us and we can build your tech dreams into a reality.