During the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading a lot about mobile this, mobile that. I think it has a lot do with the fact that currently 234 million Americans use mobile devices. Now, one of the questions a lot of marketers are asking themselves is: Which is better for my business, a mobile site or a mobile app? To answer this question, let’s take a look at the facts.
A Mashable article points out some of the differences between the two:
“A mobile app is faster, more interactive and can integrate with all kinds of other phone features. But the app must be installed to be of any use at all, while a good mobile site can simply be navigated to on a user’s whim. It’s also typically cheaper to build a mobile site, and you don’t have to deal with any pesky approval hassles. Mobile apps are becoming more and more popular with Internet users, however”.
A mobile app may provide easier and faster access, but if it’s about the waiting time, downloading an app may take longer than loading a standard mobile site web page. However, waiting for an app to download happens just once and it could take less than two minutes (depending on the device and connection speed).
Another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration is the development and maintenance of each one. As a whitepaper by RDZ Media Group discusses, apps need to be developed for each platform, they require approval of each device’s “app store policy”, App stores charge fees for publishing or certifying and take a cut of the sales. Mobile web sites on the other hand are compatible across devices, they can be updated easier, they can’t be deleted, and are less expensive.
Still undecided on the App vs. Web debate? Maybe this infographic can help.
So, who wins? Neither… it’s a tie! They both have pros and cons, and there is no universal consumer preference. One way to break the tie is by asking: “How big is my budget?” If it’s very little, I would say the mobile web site wins. If it’s slightly larger, but not enough for both then, get ready to rumble!