When it comes to mobile marketing, there are several different reasons that you may want to use an app. But, for most businesses developing both a website and an app can be too costly an investment. In these instances, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of both in order to determine whether or not one is better for your business over the other.
So, with that in mind, here are some of the reasons why you might choose either a mobile app or a responsive website for your mobile marketing needs.
Mobile App vs. Responsive Website
A mobile app and a mobile responsive website can be extremely similar or worlds apart, depending on your development and requirements. If you want an app to act in a very similar way to a website, simply allowing your users to access the site content from an app, then it may be a case that a website is just fine for your needs. However, the more complicated your requirements, the higher the likelihood that an app might be the better option for you.
Both apps and a responsive website come with their pros and cons, it’s simply a case of a better understanding of what those are.
Mobile App Pros & Cons
When it comes to mobile apps, there are a few strong pros and equal cons that may make you consider this for your business needs.
- Always Available – an app is always accessible for your users. They can browse, access content, etc., straight from their phone home screen.
- Offline – no internet access is required for a user to access your app (though some content may be unavailable).
- Push Notifications – send deals/reminders to your users directly using the push notification method (so long as they opt-in).
- Brand Development – your brand becomes a much more intimately available thing, as it is constantly in your users perspective.
- Easy Download – make your app widely available across app stores for maximum reach.
- Customer Support – support for the app can be slow, clunky and make your customers have negative feelings towards the brand.
- Higher Costs – app development costs can be significantly higher (especially compared to website development).
- Difficult Maintenance – maintenance of an app isn’t always straightforward. Often, you may find it simpler to re-develop the app entirely; which can be a costly endeavour.
- Quality Issues – if you don’t have a big budget, it can be incredibly obvious when it comes to a mobile app.
Website Pros & Cons
On the other hand, there are also many pros and cons when it comes to using a responsive website for your mobile marketing. For example:
- Good for Mobile Users – usability from a mobile perspective is extremely useful.
- Lower Costs – the costs of developing a website are much lower in comparison to app development. You also don’t have to pay for an expensive re-design or maintenance until much later.
- Maintenance – low maintenance costs over a long period of time.
- High Conversion Rates – higher conversion rates for things like shopping, booking getaways and similar is one of the big advantages of a website over an app.
- SEO Compatible – a website is something which you can rank in search engines easily. To do the same thing with a website, you would have to rank a micro-site with an app link on the page.
- UX – a responsive website can often provide users with the best interface, adapting to almost any device size. A mobile app has to be much more intricately developed to achieve this.
- Limited Capabilities – it’s very difficult to develop your website to be more than, well, a website. So if you want it to do something very specific, then developing an app for that purpose may often be the better option.
- Compatibility – sometimes content and other features can be lost as a website is shrunk to work across various devices. This is not the case when it comes to app development.
- Speed Issues – a slow loading website can spell disaster when it comes to keeping users and achieving sales. So, it’s important to ensure speed is not an issue. This is often less of a problem for apps, which load locally.
- Features Lost – some features available on an app will not translate or be fully unavailable on a site, making it a poor choice if this feature is vital for your site.
One or Both?
In some instances, having both a mobile app and a responsive website may be the better option for your business needs. Of course, you must take into account the higher expenses that comes with multiple development and maintenance projects. It has to be beneficial for your business from both perspectives to be fully worthwhile.
For a larger business, the necessity to have both a website an app is clear. Though one may take precedence over the other naturally (depending on the business niche or industry). And for smaller enterprises, the idea of having an app at such a stage may seem unnecessary.
On the whole, there are several different reasons why you might choose to have a mobile responsive website over an app. The benefits to your needs and business need to be assessed properly before making the overall decision. Otherwise, you may find yourself with the wrong thing for your needs.