What is the Best Option for Your eCommerce Business? An App or Mobile Friendly Website?

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The truth of the matter is that there is no ideal time to begin your eCommerce business. It is because it isn’t the business but the idea itself that turns a business from rust to gold.

However, both website and app are equally important for an e-commerce business to increase their presence. It helps in gathering the requirements of a few clients and creates a brand loyalty.

So, let’s list out the pros and cons of a mobile app and a mobile-friendly website to make a more informed decision.

A MOBILE APP VERSUS A MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE FOR E-COMMERCE

A Mobile friendly websites are designed with responsive web design, which makes them easy to view and access on different platforms, including smart phones and tablets.

The Mobile apps are specifically for phones. They can be downloaded and used on the smart phones.

Although, users are using a mobile website or mobile app for m-commerce still remains a question.

PROS OF MOBILE WEBSITE:

1. ACCESSIBILITY

A mobile website gives a wide exposure to the e-commerce business. It does not require users to download anything; unlike the app that requires installation first. Whenever a user searches the web for a particular product, your e-commerce store is likely to appear in the search results.

2. COMPATIBILITY

Compatibility is one of the main advantages of mobile websites. The mobile application, on the contrary, can function only within one platform and you need a separate team of specialists to add the support for others (e.g. iOS app won’t run on Android). In other words, the mobile website provides you with broader reach.

Another preferred standpoint of mobile websites is that your clients don’t have to install anything to begin utilizing their functionality. In the meantime, mobile applications require to be found, downloaded, and installed before utilizing.

3. EASE OF UPGRADING

A mobile website can be upgraded without any store permissions, unlike apps that require permission to make upgrades. You can simply make changes to the website whenever you require and those upgrades are made available to the users.

4. COST-EFFECTIVENESS

A mobile website can be built in less time as compared to the mobile app provided you are targeting several platforms for the app. Also, it is costly to develop apps across several platforms as compared to developing a mobile-friendly website. 

Thus, if you want to have an app for both popular platforms, you have to hire Android and iOS developers since developing for these two platforms differs. They have different architecture and principles of interaction with users.

Respectively, the costs are noticeably higher if compared with the responsive website having a single codebase that works across all devices through a browser.

CONS OF MOBILE WEBSITE:

1. NO OFFLINE ACCESS

A mobile-friendly website does require an internet connection. It is also more or less dependent on internet speed. Once the internet connection is down, the users won’t be able to access your website.

2. REQUIRES SEPARATE MAINTENANCE

Content needs to be updated and managed twice over. This is generally the responsibility of your web agency, but it’s definitely worth bearing in mind when the time comes to update offers etc.

3. CONVERSION RATE

If the website has a slow loading time or poor user interface, then it will have a negative impact on the conversion rate. Users are less likely to purchase from a site that has slow loading time or provide the poor user experience.

PROS OF A MOBILE APP:

1. OFFLINE ACCESS

Offline accessibility is one more benefit of mobile apps. You should consider the creation of mobile app in case your product concept implies offline access to certain part of its functionality. This trick doesn’t work properly with mobile websites.

2. PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

Another great benefit of having an e-commerce mobile app is, push notification functionality. Your app can constantly remind the users about several special benefits like coupons, upcoming sales, discounts, gifts and more. In the case of a website, it is not possible to send a push notification to a user since websites don’t interact with the device directly.

3. SECURE PAYMENT

App offers a reliable and secure payment gateway as it interacts with the device directly unlike website that relies on different browsers. Besides, if your app provides a facility to remember the payment options then it might as well enhance user experience increasing their loyalty towards your brand.

4. IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE

This is another obvious advantage of mobile apps. Being initially designed to fit the specific device and OS environment, they make navigation and, respectively, usage much easier with the help of gestures as well as native UI elements.

CONS OF A MOBILE APP:

1. COST OF DEVELOPMENT

The mobile app should be created specifically for the operating system. For example, if you have developed an app for Android, it won’t work on iOS and vice versa. You should build two separate apps for each platform. This means you need to hire two separate developers/development teams that, in turn, implies more spending.

2. MAINTENANCE & UPGRADE

App development is not a one-time process. It requires time to develop one and it requires more time and efforts to maintain it. Some key areas of concern include app bugs, crashes, speed, updates and more.

Respectively, the maintenance and upgrade take time and money.

OVER TO YOU:

So, let’s wrap up. Underneath you can see a comparison of advantages and disadvantages of mobile apps and websites.

What is ideal for your e-commerce business, a mobile app or a mobile-friendly website depends on several pointers. One has to consider the budget, target audience, and how much time one can spare.

This means, if you are on a tight budget and want a broader pool of audience for your e-commerce store then a mobile website is a preferable option.

On the contrary, if you have a specific audience to target and you are ready to give the time, money and efforts then a mobile app is a good option.

Still can’t decide what is the better option for you? Let’s conceptualize together! I can help you make informed decisions with the right project plan to match your goals. Please contact us for additional information.

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