The accelerated growth of the use of smartphones and the penetration of the use of mobile phones at a global level to navigate, use social networks and buy online, forces us to think differently when it comes to having an online brand presence.
If you plan to establish a mobile presence for your business or organization, one of the first considerations that will probably come to mind is whether you want to create a mobile application for users to download (application) or perhaps a mobile website is appropriate, or perhaps both.
Mobile websites and apps can appear very similar at first glance, and determining which one is best suited for your needs will depend on a number of factors, such as your target audience, available budget, intended purpose, and required features.
App is a shortened term for software application, and one of the defining characteristics of an application is that it must be downloaded to a device in order for the user to access it. So if you create an app for your business, you will need to submit it for approval to an app store, and then your customers or your user base will need to search for it in that app store and download it.
There are several advantages to developing an application for your business. First, apps allow businesses (assuming the app user agrees) to send in-app and / or push notifications.
The ability to reach a customer base that already knows and is interested in your brand (otherwise they wouldn’t have downloaded the app in the first place) is tremendously valuable, but it’s important to note that many users choose not to receive notifications. .
Another benefit of the apps is the ability to use them offline. While most of the app’s features, such as accessing maps and making in-app purchases or calls, only work online, basic app information (such as store location, hours, menus, and products) may be accessible even without service.
Creating, publishing, advertising, and maintaining applications can take more time than managing a mobile website. First, if you want to reach people who use Apple and Android products, you will need to submit your app for approval on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
The guidelines for app store acceptance are not set-in stone, and as they change, you will have to make sure your app is compliant. Also, most businesses require a website and an app, so understand that if you’re going the app route (unless you’re planning to abandon all websites, which is not advisable), chances are you are as well need to create a website.
Another hurdle you may face after creating a business app is getting users to find and use it. If you have a well-established business and have a marketing plan to inform customers about your application, or if your application offers some valuable functionality to users, this may not be a problem.
Mobile websites and responsive website
Before smartphones and tablets were the most widely used devices of people, websites were created to be displayed on laptops and desktops.
The designs of these websites were not responsive, which means that they did not naturally adapt to different screen sizes and were difficult to see and use on smaller screens.
At first, this was not problematic because no one was trying to view websites on smartphones or tablets, but once the use of mobile devices became popular, the disadvantages of website designs became apparent.
Then mobile websites arose, and many companies with created mobile versions of their websites to make it easy for users to browse .. without a mouse.
For some time, apps, websites, and mobile websites existed in separate buckets, but now, responsive websites are becoming the standard to follow.
To meet the mobile and desktop needs of SMBs, many website builder software platforms now include responsive website functionality.
These no-code design software allow you to create a unique design that is automatically translated from laptop to desktop on a mobile device.
This type of all-in-one solution has many advantages. For example, users don’t have to download anything to access your website, and you never have to deal with app store compliance or enforcement.
Responsive or responsive websites are also easier to maintain than apps. When you need to update a piece of information, all you have to do is change it once in the website editor and it will automatically make the changes on all types of devices, regardless of operating system.
There are still some no-code platforms that don’t offer responsive website designs. While these services are often free or inexpensive, they are not recommended for forward-thinking SMEs.
Today’s users expect access to websites on all devices, and there are many great responsive design options.
Both the applications and the websites there are today are simple to create, but for SMBs that are not technology or application-specific companies, a responsive website is the best option.
Responsive websites and apps have many of the same options, such as one-click calling, social sharing, e-commerce, and one-click map navigation.
However, the space or capacity of the phone is limited and applications require a significant download of data to store that will be increased as it is updated, while mobile or responsive websites do not.
Most local business customers search for information in a normal browser, and a mobile or responsive web design will allow them to connect with your business from anywhere without additional marketing to target them to your application.