It’s official: these days we’re all on the go and smartphones rule the web. In fact, 84% of American adults currently own a smartphone. As mobile app developers near Chicago, we know it’s crucial for your business to be easily accessed via a smartphone or tablet.
Let’s look at some numbers:
- Nearly 50% of consumers say they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load properly on their mobile devices
- Facebook’s mobile app has 745 million DAILY users, up 34% from 2014
- Over 50% of ecommerce website traffic comes through a mobile device
- 60% of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive internet source
- 68% of smartphone owners use their phone at least occasionally to follow along with breaking news events
It doesn’t make a difference if you are a small business or a Fortune 500 company, the facts speak for themselves: people are searching for information on their mobile devices and they want that information to be user-friendly. Has your business mastered mobile accessibility?
So now that we have that covered, let’s move on to the options.
MOBILE SITE OR MOBILE APP?
The answer to whether you need a mobile website or a mobile app depends on your business objectives.
Many folks don’t understand the difference, so let’s break it down:
A “mobile app” is an application designed and developed to be downloaded onto your mobile device. It can be customized for your brand or business with features that make sense in meeting your business objectives. Once downloaded from iTunes or Google Play, the app typically “lives” on your mobile device. When updates are made to the app, you’ll need to update the app on your device.
A mobile website is a condensed version of your existing website. When a user accesses your site using a web browser app on a mobile device, they access your mobile site instead of your full website. Mobile websites are not downloaded to and stored on your device. In general, mobile sites are easier to maintain and update because you don’t need to resubmit to Apple or Google Developer every time you make a change.
Does your company need a mobile app or a mobile site – or both? Here are a few things to consider:
- Who is your audience?
- Have you checked your Google Analytics to determine which pages of your website are accessed most often from mobile devices?
- Does your entire website need to be accessed via mobile?
- Do you need this project completed as soon as possible?
- Does your app or mobile site need to be accessed via phones or tablets?
- Does your app or mobile site need to be accessed via iOS, Android, or both?
- What is your budget?
Points to Consider for Mobile Sites and Mobile Apps:
- Helps with search engine optimization
- Grows traffic to your website
- No app store approval – can take less time to design and develop
- Universally accessible from mobile devices including smartphones and tablets, across all operating systems
- Functionality and accessibility greatly improved from visiting a full website on a mobile device
- Requires internet access
- Can be easily updated, if needed
- Typically the more affordable option
- Can gather analytics easily, including demographics of who is downloading the app, and popularity of pages within the app
- Size of the app (MB) can affect your storage requirements
- A more unique, personalized experience for users
- Once loaded, can offer offline access
- Download from application store on mobile device is required
- Updates require resubmission into application stores and may take longer than anticipated
- Development costs depend on a few factors: is your app for Apple devices, Android devices, or both? Is it for phones only, or tablets, too?
There are pros and cons to each option. The perfect choice for you and your business simply depends on your specific needs and goals.
The best place to start is reviewing your Google Analytics. How much of your traffic is coming from mobile? What are your most popular mobile-accessed pages? Not yet using Google Analytics? You should be! We can help you with that, too.
From the Expert:
President & Creative Director Kris Martinez weighs in on the topic:
We have a lot of clients coming to us requesting a mobile app. After all, apps are all the rage these days. But before we launch into any discussion, we first ask: what are your business objectives? There are many pros and cons to both mobile apps and mobile sites, and the cost differences can be a huge consideration. It’s important to find which solution best fits your needs.
We’d love to share our mobile success stories with you and help you weigh the options of whether a mobile site or a mobile app is a better option for you. Give us a call today to start your own Q&A.