Mobile App V/s Mobile Website: Which is the better option?

Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and people are now moving from traditional desktop to contemporary mobile. Businesses have hence started to become increasingly cognizant and welcome mobile strategy.

While companies acclimate to the changes, they may question what the best strategy would be? Should they construct a mobile app or a mobile website?

Some enterprises employ both mobile websites and apps, while others might choose one of the two. The preference usually depends myriad of factors like costs involved, the usability, required features, and the audience they serve.

In this blog, we shall decipher both - mobile apps and mobile websites, so you can align a mobile strategy that suits your business goals.

Let us first know the difference between a mobile website and a mobile app.

Both the mobile app and mobile website are accessible through mobile devices like a phone or a tablet.

The mobile website is nothing but a website that constitutes browser-based HTML pages linked together. The majority of the end-users favour super-responsive websites that they can access from various platforms and use on different screen sizes. Like conventional websites, mobile websites, too, display text content, data, images, video, and alike. They also have access to mobile-specific features such as click-to-call or location-based mapping.

On the other hand, mobile apps need to be downloaded and installed, which some people might not want. An app can either pull content from the internet or download it to access without an Internet connection.

Now let us review some latest stats for both - the mobile website and mobile app.

A Clearbridge report states that, by 2021, there will be roughly 7 billion mobile users worldwide. In 2020 alone, the annual mobile app downloads were approximately 218 billion, a seven per cent increase.

The report also states that, in 2020, the average daily time spent on a mobile device reached four hours and ten minutes; that is an increase of 20 per cent. Out of which, 92 per cent of time spent on mobile was using apps, social networking and communication apps taking up 44 per cent.

A survey by Statista states that in the fourth quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.4 per cent of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50 per cent mark since the beginning of 2017 before consistently surpassing it in 2020.

As cited before, a mobile website is just like a standard website that constitutes browser-based HTML pages linked together. Here are some advantages of a mobile website:

  1. Broader Audience Reach:

    Firstly, a mobile website is accessible across platforms. Secondly, it has a broader reach capacity to a mobile app that has to be searched and downloaded on a mobile device.

  2. Cost-Effective:

    A responsive mobile website can be more cost-effective than mobile app development.

  3. Brand Visibility:

    If your mobile website is highly optimized, it is more likely to appear in search engine results pages than sites that are not.

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Now, let us take a look at some advantages of a mobile app:

1. Better personalization:

A Mobile app offers better personalization in terms of tailored communication to users based on their interests, location, usage behaviour, and alike.

You can also test out different experiences for your customers.

Mobile apps let their users set up their choices during the onboarding, and accordingly, the users get customized content. Apps can also track customer engagement and identify the location in real-time.

2. Ease of sending notifications:

A mobile app has two types of notifications: push and in-app; both offer to communicate with the app users in a far less invasive technique.

Mobile apps can send instant, non-intrusive notifications to users.

In-app notifications are the notifications that users can only receive when they have opened an app. Whereas push notifications are those notifications that users can receive regardless the app is in use or not.

3. Capability to operate offline:

The vital difference between a mobile website and an app is that many mobile apps can offer primitive content and functionality to users even in offline mode

Many apps are built in such a fashion that they can work both - online and offline. Maybe not all functions would be available to the end-users even when not connected to the internet.

4. Freedom in designing:

Even though many technological advances in web designing, mobile websites still have to depend on browsers to perform even the most basic functions. However, Mobile apps do not have any of these constraints and get designed with several elaborate functions based on advanced gestures like- tap, swipe, hold, click and many more.

5. Famous with end-users:

Thanks to the CoVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed, many people around the globe relied on mobile apps for the majority of the tasks - from ordering food to binge-watch a favourite show, mobile apps have been a hit.

As per a report by Statista, mobile apps are projected to generate more than 613 billion U.S. dollars in revenues in 2025, with mobile games making up the largest revenue share among all app categories.

6. Speed is faster than the website:

A well-built mobile app can accomplish tasks much faster than a mobile website. That is because apps usually store their data locally on mobile devices, which is retrieved quickly as compared to a mobile website, where the data is usually stored on the website.

Apps can additionally save time by saving the users preferences and taking proactive actions on users’ behalf.

Now let us dive into which one should one choose?

Designing a mobile website or mobile app is an expensive matter. Therefore, you must pick one of the two based on your budget and company objectives. Each has its own set of pros and cons.

Opt for a mobile website if your goal is to provide content to a broader audience.

Alternatively, if you seek to offer content that will easily grip people's attention and communicate better for customer loyalty purposes, then you definitely must opt for a mobile app.

Moreover, if you want to achieve both goals, you should go with both the app and website; the mobile app creates brand awareness while the mobile website increases brand visibility.

Still confused on what would suit your business?

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We now know the difference between a mobile website and a mobile app. Let us take a look at some top mobile app development companies. The top 3 mobile app development agencies in Melbourne are:

  • Launchpad App Development:

    Launchpad App Development partners with disruptive start-ups and revolutionary brands all over Australia and the world to create digital products that delight users and rewrite the rules of traditional business models. We have a unique approach to helping start-ups and brands solve the challenge of delivering fascinating user experiences across all digital channels to achieve growth in a highly measurable way.

  • Iotasol Pty. Ltd.:

    Iotasol is a global software development company with a primary focus on developing high qualitative, cost-effective, and timely delivered software. We offer a solution for all your customized software, websites, web application, and mobile application requirements. We have been transforming businesses digitally since 2010.

  • Wave Digital:

    Wave Digital is a Melbourne-based iPhone app, Android app, and web app development company. Founded in 2000, Wave Digital is Melbourne's most established app developer. We are Australian owned and use only local app designers and app developers.

    Now, the final takeaway in this blog is – the cost. We at Iotasolare often asked - how much it costs to make a mobile application? Hence, we have curated a well-written guide, where we explain everything that goes into the cost of mobile application development.

    Although an accurate cost estimate is only possible after listing all the requirements in detail, it is possible to get an overall idea of a rough cost estimate after reading this article.

In conclusion,

there is no right or wrong choice here. As mentioned above, the right product is defined by the goals you have for your enterprise. In our opinion, you may want to begin with one and then later build another as you get user feedback on the first deployed product.

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