As a small business it is essential to keep up with quickly evolving technology as it emerges and spreads among consumers. Business owners need to evaluate whether their consumers would prefer to use a mobile app or a mobile website. This brings up the mobile website vs app debate. It might be tempting to push mobile website development to the side in favor of developing an app, but a study on which platform mobile users prefer showed that consumers prefer using a mobile browser for shopping, searching and entertaining.
Advantages of a Mobile Website
Using a mobile website over an app provides a number of advantages for small businesses. Smartphone and tablet popularity for accessing websites has increased from 5.42% and 5.95% in 2012 to 10.44% and 10.58% in 2013, respectively. At the same time, website traffic from desktop computers dropped from 88.62% in 2012 to 78.99% in 2013.
Mobile websites are easier and cheaper to maintain than mobile apps. It is much simpler to scale down a site for mobile devices than it is to code and release an app. Applications cost money to develop and maintain. Apps also need to be developed for each mobile operating system, which requires additional time and money. Mobile websites work on all platforms and can be easily accessed by anyone without limiting your business’s exposure.
Mobile websites also have fewer complications to deal with. Many app stores or markets require approval before the app can be launched and subsequent updates can be subjected to the same approval standards. Mobile browsers are expanding with capabilities to add new features without requiring the user to download an app to access the content.
One of the drawbacks that apps have is that they need to be downloaded before the user can access the content. This is beneficial when someone wants to access unique features and functionality, but apps take up space and can be inconvenient when the customer is looking to find a piece of information quickly. Apps add to clutter and, if they aren’t designed properly, can receive negative ratings and reviews that discourage others from downloading it. It is best to focus on appealing to those accessing content through a mobile browser.
Statistics are easier to keep track of when your business chooses to focus on using a mobile website instead of an app. Mobile web statistics function in the same manner as a regular web browser, which eliminates the need to look at and analyze two different sets of information.
While it may seem tempting to try to keep up with all the trends in technology, it is worthwhile to evaluate the market you’re trying to reach. Utilize a mobile website to reach a variety of users without excessive spending or investments.
There is no debate that you site should be optimized for the mobile browsing experience. Learn how we can take your website mobile.