App vs. Website: What Is the Best Mobile Option for eCommerce Businesses?
Don’t get confused. The two has a lot of differences. But they’re quite simple to understand.
Mobile websites are browser-based, which means you can access them through the internet without installing an application. They can work just like usual websites on your computer. However, some websites automatically adjust to different devices with additional features specially designed for mobile solutions.
Mobile applications, on the other hand, are apps that can be downloaded or installed in your phone or tablets usually through Google Play or Apple Store. They can also be accessed through the internet and download information, which are stored in the phone memory. Many mobile apps don’t require an internet connection to function because the data and information have already been downloaded inside the app.
In this article, we are going to compare mobile websites and mobile solutions. Let’s dig deeper on how they can each platform be advantageous in terms of functionality, features, and other factors that affect the overall success of an e-commerce business.
A- Mobile Applications
Advantages of Mobile Applications
1- Faster than Mobile Websites
Have you ever experienced when your browser keeps on loading? Having such a slow internet connection is frustrating. But don’t judge too quickly. Maybe the culprit is the mobile website itself. People prefer to use mobile applications because they are faster and more efficient. They are specially designed to perform specific tasks, unlike mobile websites that can function as a browser to access different internet sites.
2- Provides Better User Experience
Mobile apps have higher functionality and user-friendly features as compared to mobile websites. App developers are continually working to improve their app solutions, which is why mobile applications are becoming more intuitive and advanced.
The primary goal of mobile app development is not just to create apps that can function properly. Successful mobile apps are made with an excellent user interface.
3- Specialized Features for Devices
More and more apps are being integrated with high-tech devices. The internet of things, for example, connect smart devices to streamline complicated tasks.
Tech-companies are working with app developers to maximize the capabilities of their devices and increase their sales. Point of sale systems, trackers, camera devices, and radio frequency identifications are used to help the e-commerce business flourish.
4- More Time Spent in Mobile Apps
Mobile apps are taking over the world. Users are spending more hours on mobile apps rather than browsing the internet through mobile websites. This is a good indicator that creating a mobile app is the best option when creating an e-commerce website.
A report from reputable sources shows that the number of people using mobile applications has been exponentially increasing by 6% every year, especially in fields of business such as e-commerce and retail.
5- Offers Accessibility Without Internet
The internet will not always be there to help you. But your mobile app will. Most mobile apps can still be operated without an internet connection because they are installed in your devices. This feature allows you to continue working and accomplish minor tasks until the internet comes back.
Disadvantages of Mobile Applications
1- Requires More Time and Expenses
Apps could be hard to develop for your e-commerce business – and more expensive too! The process is complicated. It means building apps compatible with both Android and IOS, which could mean hiring two separate developer teams for each platform. More cost and more time!
2- Comes with a Complicated Process
It’s more complicated than you think. It doesn’t stop with hiring talented developers. There are also lots of things to consider more than just a well-planned development. You have to make many crucial decisions which can affect the entire operation of your business in the long run. Without technical expertise, you would have to rely on your team and hope that it will turn out just okay.
3- Problems in the Maintenance Process
You have to consider the future problems that may arise due to the changing needs of the people. Don’t forget about the trends and issues that may come along as you go forth with your business. App support is also essential. Daily maintenance should be considered to avoid losing customers. Otherwise, your client may look for better platforms.
B- Mobile Websites
Advantages of Mobile Websites
1- Accessible to All Devices
Mobile websites accessed through any device as long as there is an internet browser. Compatibility will not be a problem, giving your business a broader grasp among your customers. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Android or Apple. They don’t even need to download anything, just a good Wi-Fi connection, and they’re good to go.
2- Search Engine Optimization
If you want to boost your business significantly, Google ranking is your best bet. Creating a website platform for your e-commerce business will allow you to formulate SEO strategies that can increase your traffic significantly, which is currently considered as the best way to promote a brand.
Unlike app development, it’s relatively easier and faster to create websites. It requires less work and complicated technical stuff. In short, mobile web development requires fewer expenses and less effort, giving you more time to focus on other important matters in your e-commerce business.
Disadvantages of Mobile Websites
1- Without Offline Accessibility
You probably already know this already, but it’s still worth mentioning. What if your customers want to browse their cart or wish list? They can’t do that in a mobile web version of your site, and that’s an automatic turn off for your customers.
2- Turtle-Like Loading Speed
This is arguably the weakest part of mobile web solutions, especially for online shops. It hampers the performance and potential of the business just because the interface is inconvenient to use. Those pesky little buttons, zooming in and zooming out, tiny texts, and almost everything about it makes customers press the exit button with relief.
3- Maintenance and Maintenance
Websites also need to be maintained daily. Most website owners hire skilled and knowledgeable programmers who can do the job for them. Also, contents for the website will also cost a lot, especially if you are aiming to improve your SEO.
4- Not-Too-Friendly Interface
We all know this. It’s the reason why most users prefer to use mobile apps rather than browsing the web to use their favorite platforms. A mobile website doesn’t usually adjust its interface based on the device, leading to the poor user experience.
There you go! The answer should be evident by now. There are a lot of opportunities in the e-commerce business, considering the pace of technological advancement nowadays.
You can quickly gain momentum once you launch a successful marketing strategy for your business. It’s easy to increase your traffic when you use the power of the internet. Many marketing options are being offered in the market.
But no matter what option you might choose, the key factor will remain. You have to plan carefully and consider your situation. Gather as much information as possible to formulate the right strategy on how you can increase your sales without spending too much time, money, and effort.