08 November 2010 by Web Bureau
Mobile Applications VS Mobile Websites (Mobile Web Apps)
What does the future hold? Should businesses get mobile apps as this is the big talk or should businesses rather invest their money more wisely and get mobile website or mobile web apps? Plenty of retailers have released mobile apps, and some of them are excellent. My thoughts are if you are even considering mobile apps, the future lies with creating mobile websites rather than simply just a mobile app.
Does this mean mobile apps are no good? Absolutely not! Apps have their place but when selling online, ‘retailers’ should look at mobile e-commerce sites before they create an app. This approach has been taken by some of the bigger successful site such as M&S and John Lewis. John Lewis took the step as they have already over 100,000 mobile visits every week. M&S success is staggering, over 13,000 orders in just over 4 months.
Some of the reasons why these ideas could have been taken:
They work – people will buy products on their phone with the growing market in most phones having access to the internet, and a large portion of users being able to actively use the internet on their phones. M&S even showed large sales on their mobile e-commerce store (an order for over £3000)
Phones/ Devices – the decision to build an app for a phone means you need to look at the market, does your target audience have an iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Symbian??? Nobody knows but why restrict your site and not just have an e-commerce website that suits all phones and go the web route. Mobile device domination or smartphone domination. Who wins?
Marketability – apps mean users have to actively search for the specific app. Web E-commerce means you can optimise your site through mobile search and your search engine optimisation. This also affects promotion of your application. App stores have thousands of different applications and this is extremely competitive as well as their being over 50 app stores. Web searches and search engine optimisation is dominated by Google thus a fairer playing field for those who are serious enough to think about the online sales boom and e-commerce websites.
Features – why restrict the features you can create on the internet versus for each individual phone and app. Building a mobile website e-commerce system allows you to recreate a lot of the ‘cool’ features of apps although it does restrict a few features apps can provide such as users location and GPS locators. Although some web software is being developed to counter these issues.
Links – mobile web apps can encourage sharing and utilising some of the successful social media marketing or social media websites whereas mobile apps don’t let you link to and from an app.
To finish up, it seems mobile web apps seem to be the way forward. On top of all this they also make viewing and using the mobile websites easier as no approval is needed. So “What does the future hold?”
“Creating one mobile website makes more sense to me, covers all bases and is thus financially a better option to work into the small business budget. On top of this, capture the website user market while some of the bigger retailers create apps for every different device. This being said, the BIG retailers are wising up slowly but surely with their e-commerce web strategies.”