To Have or Not to Have a Mobile App for your Business
Today, you will hardly find any smartphone user who does not use at least one mobile app on any day. User experience rules supreme in judging the usefulness of apps or applications that have become indispensable tools for daily living. The fast-spreading popularity of smartphones has boosted the app development industry that keeps churning out apps incessantly to improve user experience. Although named smartphones, the small devices are more like mini computers, with the phone being just one of its many features together with the camera, media player, and other apps. Android is the ubiquitous operating system for smartphones that enjoy 80% market share. It is only natural that companies like Big Drop with expertise in software development play a big role in developing android apps that help to solve many problems that users face.
The ever-growing demand for apps has created the multi-billion app development industry that is likely to touch $189 billion by 2020. This seems obvious due to the widespread dependence of smartphone users on apps, as we use apps for all kinds of tasks, from checking bank account to shopping online, booking air tickets, and many more. Apps are also a source of entertainment for listening to your favorite music or viewing blockbuster movies and soaps. When planning to go for dinner with your family and friends or going on a date, you tap on an app to book a table in your chosen restaurant. There is an app for anything and everything you need; such is the all-encompassing reach of mobile apps.
On the other side, businesses too benefit a lot from having an app over and above their website because apps provide easier opportunities for engagement by addressing the specific needs of users. Sometimes the question arises whether it makes sense to have an app in addition to a website, or it would be better to have any one of these to fulfill all the needs of the business. Well, there is no simple answer to this. It depends on many factors like your budget, the purpose of your venture, and the target audience. An easier way to decide is to understand the similarities between an app and website and look into the strengths.
The Similarities Between Websites and Apps
From the point of the development process, there are some similarities between mobile apps and websites in that computer programmers can create both by using the design paradigms of Agile, Lean, and Object-Oriented Programming. Developers use a variety of tools and languages for building websites and apps, depending on the goals of development.
There are more similarities in the development process as both make use of graphic design by considering user experience. Sometimes the features of websites and apps are similar, too, as both can have a one-click calling, Google maps integration, and user forms.
Besides the similarities, there are some stark differences between the two based on specific user requirements, and there are times when one would be more appropriate than the other. The situation and circumstances, as well as the kind of user engagement that you want to derive, will influence your decision.
What’s Good About Websites?
Some situations call for the use of websites that can help to get better results. For fulfilling marketing and public relations goals, using a website is always better. But the website that is a more affordable option must be mobile friendly to ensure more accessibility. At the same time, creating a website is comparatively easy as it is a less complicated process than developing a mobile app that can be quite challenging.
- Creating a WordPress website is fast and easy, and it is the same if you develop websites with Joomla or Pelican. Websites gain immediate visibility as soon as you host it on the internet, and you can implement SEO right from the time the site is up and running.
- With responsive design and markup languages like HTML, CSS, and PHP, it is easy to create websites that display excellently on all screen sizes, thus making it compatible for viewing in all types of mobile devices.
- Websites created with responsive design are compatible with different browsers and search engines. It gives more options to small businesses to develop their digital footprints by ensuring a wide reach. More accessibility means a much wider reach, which benefits the marketing strategies of many organizations.
- Having a website provides the opportunity of building native apps. Depending on your resources like memory on your host, you can to build a robust application on the site directly.
- Maintenance of websites is much easier as it does not require any coding skills, but you can do it by using a variety of design tools.
- Updating websites is also easy as you need not seek any approval for it.
- Building applications by using web technology is easier than developing mobile apps that require in-depth knowledge about the operating system on which the app is developed.
What’s Good About Mobile Apps?
Mobile apps are better in resolving specific problems related to user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) and help to better focus on close user interaction. If you have programs that use lots of memory, then developing a mobile app is always advantageous. Projecting your brand across multiple channels is easy with mobile apps. Moreover, it suits the following needs.
- The native functions of smartphones come in handy for running mobile apps that can make good use of the functionalities. The camera, flashlight, and sensor of smartphones are some functions used by mobile apps.
- Games that require lots of memory run very well on mobile apps as compared to websites with sufficient memory and fast loading times. For example, you enjoy the game Pokemon Go much better with apps than on sites.
- Certain services like cab aggregators Uber and Lyft find apps more suitable over websites because using apps for availing the services is easier than doing it from websites. Using Gmail on the app provides a better user experience than accessing the service via websites.
- If your goal is to build a program for offline use, mostly, then the app is the best choice. An example is the use of a calculator that opens in a single tap without having to go through the process of logging to the website.
Better User Experience
From the perspective of users, mobile applications are more enjoyable because of the convenience of accessing the program in just one or two steps. This is possible because the app uses the hardware resources of the phone that gives more soothing experience in viewing and interacting with programs to perform some specified tasks. For example, it is easier to check your account balance by using your bank’s mobile app than opening the website and going through a series of the verification process. The app design is much more user-friendly than even the best-designed site.
Higher Conversion Rate from Apps
The simplified processes of mobile apps make it very attractive to users who can save time in carrying out tasks even when they are on the move. Moreover, studies show that the intent of purchase is much higher for mobile users. Almost 73% of mobile users who engage with businesses do it intending to make a purchase. It allows instant gratification for users who can whip out the mobile phone from their pocket and engage in shopping immediately without overthinking. The higher conversion rate of mobile users drives many businesses to build apps for speedy business growth. This is especially true for companies like pizza stores that use mobile apps to provide a superior experience to customers for ordering and to receive prompt services.
The page loading speed of websites is a critical factor that impacts user experience, and it is not easy to maintain good loading times always due to various factors, many of which are beyond the control of website owners. Unless all the factors work in unison and perfect harmony, it is difficult to ensure proper website speed, failing, which can lead to a high bounce rate and dent the prospects of conversion.
This problem does not happen with mobile apps because it operates at high speed consistently, and there are no chances of slowdown except for instances of poor internet connectivity. Since speed attracts users who want to enjoy a seamless experience in accessibility, mobile apps truly provide the most pleasing experience – convenient, fast, and easy to use.
The best thing about mobile apps is that you can access it even without the internet. Users can use the app in situations when there is no internet by accessing it offline. This gives more flexibility to users that drive them more towards apps. Businesses benefit from it too due to constant customer engagement that increases the chances of conversion.
Having a website alongside a mobile app gives more options to access businesses, and it dramatically multiplies visibility, which is making all the difference between success and failure.
If you were to carry a random survey on the street, the chances of anyone saying they don't own a smartphone or they don't use multiple mobile applications a day is very, very slim. Smartphones have become an extension of ourselves, almost like a fifth limb, indivisible from our modern, hectic lives. Not considering catering for your mobile audience is a colossal mistake that may be keeping your business from engaging with a broader audience and reaching bigger and better markets.
In 2019 there were 3,986 million unique mobile internet users. The total number of active internet users is 4,388 million. And mobile online traffic is only forecasted to keep increasing year-over-year. Any company looking to properly meet the impending wave must work properly on a mobile-first strategy.
Any business can benefit from improvements to their service offerings and customer care, and iTexico, a mobile app development company specializes in providing expert teams to fuel digital innovation and enable companies to achieve the correct digital transformation.
About the Author
Trudy is a Business Tech Analyst. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.