Mobile Websites versus Mobile Apps: All you need to know

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So, you are all set to make a presence in mobile and join the flourishing industry. With this resolve, the most important thing for you to decide is how to make your entry. The market is divided into two parts – mobile websites and mobile apps. The two are distinct and may or may not meet in the marketing strategy of a brand. As such, you can go for either of them or incorporate both in your plans.

Before you get into the meat of this article, it is important to know their difference and the purpose they serve. Knowing this will give you a better idea of what will help you achieve your target most effectively. While a good mobile application development company knows how to develop both mobile apps and mobile websites, let us start with seeing what is used when and the nitty-gritties of what differentiates them.

Mobile Websites

A mobile website may be a separate version of your desktop website or not. But it must work on mobile phones, fitting int the small screen. A mobile website may start with m. rather than www. It is often nothing but a specially formatted version of the desktop website.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are software applications developed specifically for smarthones. They are not a continuation or even a summary of the desktop website. The aim of a mobile app is to aid constant interaction and increase retention. It is what often follows the call to action tab on desktop website.

The individual purpose that they serve

Mobile Websites are generally used to inform your audience about an upcoming product or campaign. It is most beneficial when the purpose of your business is not to sell products or when you have to create awareness.

Mobile Apps are commonly created to have high customer interactions and have a fuller mobile experience. They give easier access to the mobile’s features – like camera and phone. Apps are aimed at giving a much greater personalized experience than their websites counterpart.

Now that you know the individual purpose that both mobile website and mobile app serves, let us look at what makes them so different.

Factors of DifferenceMobile WebsiteMobile App
LifeThey are always there on the internetCan be removed in case of zero activity
Ease of UpdatesUpdates Automatically, without any user intervention, through CMS.Users have to authorize every update whenever the app asks for it.
ConnectivityA working internet connection is needed to access Mobile WebsiteInternet connection is not mandatory to open MobileApps
Scope of InteractionThe scope of having a continuous interaction is very low on website.Users can have greater personalized and interactive time on Mobile App
AccessibilityIt is not possible to access user’s device from Mobile Website.A Mobile App generally has access to users’ phone, SMS, and gallery, making it more accessible.

Now that you must have gotten an idea of what makes mobile websites and mobile apps so different, let’s get down to business – Where should you invest?

It is not a question of picking between a mobile app and a mobile website. While a website will help your users know who you are, a mobile app is the medium where they will stay loyal to you. The ideal marketing strategy when going mobile is to use website as a pre-launch medium and an app for converting the users into clients.

What you should aim for is to use a mobile website as a product catalog and the app as a place to perform the actions on the products and carry out other dynamic functions.

It is true that your goal and cost estimate could make you choose between app and website, but know that they would work best if done together. So keep future expansion in both domain, in your marketing plan.

Avatar of Tripti Rai

By Tripti Rai

Tripti Rai covers a wide range of technology related articles – ranging from current to upcoming. Presently associated with ChromeInfotech, a leading android app development company. She is looking to learn the ABC of mobile app industry.

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