Our Thinking

Mobile App or a Mobile site: Pros and cons

With the majority of users accessing and searching content via their mobile devices and tablets, there are now two key questions that organizations are asking: “Do we or do we not need a mobile App?” And, “If we have a mobile (eg responsive) website, do we actually need a mobile app as well?” Today we will discuss the second question.

To help answer this question, we have assembled a brief summary of the advantages of each platform. Consider your audience – what is your end goal of adding a mobile app or getting a mobile site?

A mobile app:

  • Easier to discover: billions of webpages, only several million apps.
  • Once downloaded, it has a coveted spot on the user’s device.
  • A dedicated user interface that isn’t constrained by the browser’s technical limits.
  • The ability to monetize through in-app purchases.
  • A closed system: Less user distraction from websites or third-party ads.
  • Most apps are not dependent on a data connection, and can run in a subway, remote mountaintop, or airplane.

A mobile website:

  • Since the organization is investing in the website anyway, the marginal cost of a responsive mobile website is very low.
  • There is little or no “extra” maintenance, since anytime something is updated on the main website, the mobile site will automatically be updated.
  • Everyone has a browser on their smartphone: it’s just a matter of typing in the URL to bring up the mobile site.
  • There is no need for the user to go through the extra step of downloading the app.
  • No app development expense; no app support requirements.
  • No decision as to what platform to develop the app for:  iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry.  The mobile site works on all platforms.

This week’s action plan:  Contact us – we will provide three ideas for how mobile can be used by your organization strategically, and for balance, three reasons why you should give mobile a pass.  Our goal is to open a conversation with you about what could be possible for your organization, and more so, what could be possible for your client experience.