The importance of mobile web use is certainly significant, whether you’re a fan of mobile browsing or not. With over 60% of web searches now performed on a mobile device, if you’re not currently catering to mobile customers, it’s time to take action.

When planning your mobile marketing strategy, one key question frequently becomes a point of contention: which is better, a mobile site or a mobile app?

As with most things in the wide world for marketing, there is no easy answer. What works for one company won’t necessarily work for another, so it’s important to evaluate the pros and cons on a personal level to find the right fit for you.

Here are some key points to consider when deciding how to move forward with your mobile platform.

Initial Costs

Many small businesses make costs a priority when deciding how to proceed in any marketing endeavor. For those with a limited budget and strict allocations for future projects, a mobile website is the most cost-effective option. Even building a new site from scratch just for mobile use can be a reasonable investment, offering an easy way to target smartphone and tablet users without breaking the bank.

A mobile app is generally a larger commitment, especially for companies who want to ensure accessibility across all major platforms, like Android and iOS. The challenges in compatibility alone can drive up costs, requiring increased spending to ensure a quality product.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Mobile website upkeep is fairly straightforward; at the end of the day, it’s very similar to the process for maintaining a desktop site. While not always easy, most companies already have tools in place to address any issues that may arise.

Mobile app support, on the other hand, can be significantly more complex. For businesses without experience in the mobile app space, implementing the infrastructure necessary to facilitate updates and repairs can be a big endeavor. In addition, app updates often have to be approved before going live and being listed in an app store, while website changes can roll out at a company’s discretion.

User Interface

A mobile website has a lot of possibilities, but the user experience is significantly richer on a mobile app. Apps can use a more dynamic layout with enhanced options and an interface designed to succeed on a mobile device, giving companies a creative way to connect with consumers. And of course, mobile devices offer enhanced native-device functionality.

This isn’t to say, of course, that a strong mobile website can’t offer a lot to users. In terms of UX, most sites can compete closely with desktop capabilities, offering a streamlined way to browse the web without sacrificing functionality.

Payments and Subscriptions

Making payments can be a hassle on a website. Most sites require entering payment information and jumping through hoops to make purchases, making it more likely that a customer will move on before completing a transaction. However, payment options are often greater with a website, and there’s no cut of revenue due to app store or marketplace like mobile apps may be forced to pay.

For businesses that favor speed and efficiency, a mobile app can be highly effective here. In-app purchases often work in tandem with a phone’s operating system, using stored payment methods to quickly and easily buy subscriptions, make one-time payments, and more.

There’s no disputing the value in a mobile platform, but how you proceed is up to you. With advantages and disadvantages on both sides, there’s no one right answer, giving you the freedom to make the best choice for your customers and your bank account.

If you’re seeking the right approach for your business, we’re here to help. Contact RivalMind today to define your best mobile strategy.

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