Mobile app vs. responsive website: what's right for your business?

A global report by DataReportal showed that at the beginning of 2022, the number of Internet users in the world increased to 4.95 billion and continues to grow. Also, statistics from the portal show that more than 67% of the total world population uses mobile devices for work, shopping, education, entertainment, and other purposes. Thus, the representation of business on the Internet is becoming an integral part of the promotion strategy. You can showcase your business to billions of people with your own website or mobile application. 

Based on these figures, business owners have a question: mobile app vs. responsive website – which is better? Lampa experts have analyzed both options so that you can decide and choose the most appropriate one for your company. 

Mobile app 

According to Statista, there are 3.55 million Android apps and about 1.6 million iOS apps worldwide in 2022. The popularity of mobile phone apps is due to their affordability and wide functionality, but first things first. To understand whether your business needs to develop a smartphone program, let's explore this digital solution's key concepts, functions, strengths, and weaknesses.

What is a mobile app?

Mobile applications are programs you download from a specialized store and install on your phone or tablet. These can be both native mobile apps, which are developed for a particular operating system (iOS or Android), and cross-platform, working on devices with different OS. 

When it's better for a business to choose a mobile app?

An app is a great tool for branding and customer retention because it focuses on consistent user engagement. Mobile development is becoming a great option for companies in various industries, including eCommerce. 

The online sales industry extensively uses apps because they are convenient for loyal customers. With a branded app on the phone, the customer doesn't have to go to a search engine and look for your site. All they have to do is open the app on their smartphone to buy the product they want.

The only difficulty is that first, you have to demonstrate the usefulness of the mobile solution to the client so that they install it. Therefore, in addition to app development, creating a competent advertising campaign is important. It will help you notify your regular customers about your product and attract the attention of a new audience.

What are the key features of a mobile app?

In the responsive website vs. mobile app standoff, the latter wins regarding functionality. Depending on your business goals, you can add many different features to your own development. If you find it difficult to decide on a set of options, ask an experienced development team who will advise you on the best features to implement in your digital solution.

Consider the key functions of programs for mobile users:

  • Intuitive interface. UX design of the service is more adaptable to different screen sizes of phones and tablets. This makes it convenient and easy for the user to perform various tasks. In addition, content loading in apps is faster than on Internet resources and consumes less mobile traffic.

  • Personalized user experience. Customers can choose a theme, font, background, and other graphic details to their own taste. These personalized settings improve customers' user experience as the app becomes more appealing.

  • User communication. You can set up push notifications and other messages in the programs so that your customers are always aware of current offers. Any promotion or new product in the range will not pass your consumer by. 

  • Access to phone features. The application can use components of the device on which it is opened. For example, GPS, camera, microphone, and others. This makes the program even more useful and helps fulfill user requests faster.

  • Standalone operation. Applications are available at any time, even without an Internet connection. They can display content or perform some functions in an offline mode. 

To build a mobile product for smartphones and tablets, you need to determine which features will be most in demand among users. Thus, you can present the public with a handy program that will resonate in their hearts.

Pros and Cons of mobile apps

To understand why many companies choose to create branded services, let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of such solutions:

Pros:

  • Work without Internet access from any location or mobile device.

  • Availability of your products or services on the service 24/7.

  • User-friendly design built upon the interests of your target audience.

  • A wide range of features that are tailored to the needs of users.

Cons:

  • More financial and time resources are required for mobile app development than a website.

  • You need to get a license from the Google Play Store or App Store to put the product up for download. 

  • Updating to the latest version may make some features temporarily unavailable to users. 

Responsive website

Responsive website

According to Statista, 58.99% of global website traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore, you need to consider these factors when designing your own site. You can offer your users a more convenient option for browsing.

The topic of mobile apps vs. responsive websites is actively discussed among business novices and experienced entrepreneurs alike. Let's get acquainted with responsive web pages to understand why the choice is between these two products.

What is a responsive website?

Responsive sites are a common portal that automatically adjusts to the parameters of a mobile or desktop device when opened in the browser, providing a user-friendly browsing experience. 

Often such services are developed in HTML and CSS, which helps improve their appearance and, consequently, the users' web experience. Also, programmers for website development use HTML5 to provide support for multimedia technologies.

When is it better for a business to choose a responsive website?

More than half of all searches on Google are conducted from smartphones. In light of this, the company has announced the introduction of indexing methods for mobile devices. How might this affect your business? You have a better chance of getting noticed in your customers' search results if you create a mobile version of your site.

Also, if your business needs to expand the range of customers, a mobile site will be preferable to an app. Web development of pages in combination with SEO optimization will help to attract new clients. After all, when a user searches for a product or service, the first thing they do is go to the search engine, not to the software store. 

What are the key features of a responsive website?

You can optimize the site to attract customers and increase sales. Moreover, online resources have a number of unique features:

  • Responsive design. Characterized by the fact that it can change its appearance and layout by adjusting to the screen size of your computer, tablet, or phone. 

  • Compatible with various platforms. A responsive portal displays content correctly on all devices and in all web browsers.

  • Optimization tools. They increase your brand awareness and attract more traffic, and content management on the web is much easier than in the app.

  • Compatibility with assistive technologies. Screen readers and similar technologies for people with disabilities are much easier to integrate with a mobile website than stand-alone applications.

The functionality of the Internet portals also allows you to make changes or updates yourself without going to a development company. 

Pros and Cons of a responsive website

There are strengths in favor of responsive solutions, but to get the full picture, we will also look at some weaknesses. 

Pros:

  • They are cheaper and faster to create than apps.

  • They allow users to view products or order services from any device.

  • They are a tool for promoting and attracting new customers, as well as for increasing brand awareness.

  • They do not require regular updates because they do not depend on the OS version on your users' devices.

Cons:

  • The download speed depends on the quality of your Internet connection, which can slow down the display of content.

  • The functionality of the web resource is less extensive than in the app.

  • Working offline is not possible on some devices.

  • There is no possibility to personalize the portal for each client.

Comparison summary

Let's look at a table for an easy comparison of mobile apps with mobile sites.


Mobile app

Responsive website

Platforms and devices

It opens only on smartphones and tablets and is developed separately for each OS. 

Adapts to device and browser features.


Use process

Have to download from a specialized store and install.

No need to download and install.

Interaction with users

In real-time, regularly.

Possibly on a regular basis.

Launch process

You must get a license to place it in the app store.

You need to pay for the domain and hosting.

Standalone process

Possible to implement for all devices.

Supports only some platforms.

Updating and bug fixing process

Complicated, can take a long time to correct errors.

Easy, you can quickly correct errors.

Conclusion

When thinking about which digital solution is right for your company, you need to focus on:

  • business goals;

  • budget;

  • type of products or services.

The mobile program has more functionality and is suitable for daily use by clients. At the same time, web portals will be a great solution for promoting your business online and expanding your target audience. Depending on your business goals, you can choose one of the options, or you can start developing both at once.

Need professional assistance gathering all the required artifacts to build a mobile app? Order product ideation services from Lampa!

FAQ

1. Which is easier to build an app or website?

Website development is simpler, easier, cheaper, and faster than a full-fledged phone app.

2. Is responsive the same as mobile-friendly?

A responsive website adjusts to the specific device on which the user opens it. A mobile-friendly website is more stable because it displays equally on all mobile devices and desktop screens.

3. Which is the more profitable website or app?

Unlike a website, a mobile app is more profitable because it can be monetized. The owner can make the service available for a fee or set a different price for using any unique features.

Tags:
Mobile Apps
Web Development

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