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Mobile App vs. Mobile Website: Which is Right for Your Business?

Most people are familiar with the expression, “There’s an app for that.” Mobile apps have picked up in popularity as more and more people are reaching to their smartphone to perform a wide variety of tasks. However, mobile websites have also picked up in popularity and many small businesses are hearing about this increasing coverage and the importance of having a mobile website. This has caused some confusion and made it difficult for small businesses to know what is best for their strategy and what they should invest their money in.

To help, here are some of the pros and cons of a mobile app and a mobile website so you can determine which is best for your business. 

Mobile App Pros

  • Create a presence on your customer’s smartphone – When your customer unlocks their smartphone, your brand may be one of the first things they see. Seeing this logo can help reinforce your company image.
  • Send notifications to your customer’s phone – If a customer allows you to push notifications (and many do not), you can notify your customer of a sale or important event happening at your store or in your business. This can help you create buzz around your brand.

Mobile App Cons

  • Customers must download updates – Updates are not done in real-time. If you need to make a change to your content or to the app in any way, your customer will have to download an update. This can be burdensome and frustrating for your customer and may make them lose out on seeing important information.

Mobile Website Pros

  • Easier to see on a smartphone – Reading a website on a smartphone is not always easy. Content can be small forcing the visitor to zoom in just to read what you have to say. This can then become burdensome and difficult. The more difficult your website is to read and navigate, the more likely it is you will lose a customer. Making it easy to read through a mobile website can help your visitor stay on your site for longer.
  • Found by people on the web when doing a search – Many searches are done while a customer is out and about running errands or looking for a business around them. When your business pops up first and they are taken to your mobile website, they are able to quickly find the information they need to reach out to you or to find you in their area. This can send you a significant amount of business and make your SEO efforts even more beneficial.

Mobile Website Cons

  • No listing in app stores – Some customers go to app stores to find apps around specific services. For service based companies, not having a listing in an app store will cause you to lose these customers. Still, most customers use the internet to find companies they are looking for instead so this does not tend to be a significant downfall for many small businesses.

Mobile apps tend to be best suited for those businesses that do not need to make regular updates to the native app itself, but instead just want to have a way to provide information that their customers can store on their smartphone. Mobile websites are best used by companies that regularly post updates and information to their website and want to give their customers real-time data.

In the end, the answer of which is best depends on your offering and business strategy. Many businesses choose to use both in different ways. To learn more about how we can help you get started targeting mobile devices, contact our office for more information.

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