Factors to consider when choosing a mobile site and a mobile app.

By | May 11, 2015 |0 Comments

We have discussed a lot about mobile apps and mobile sites in our blogs. It is a hotly debated topic in the E-commerce industry today. With increase in the usage of Smartphones, mobile devices and better penetration of broadband connectivity, it’s important for every brand to design a relevant mobile strategy.

Recently, many big names in the industry have decided to go with just mobile apps- pushing the debate to next level and compelling people to think deeply whether to go with mobile apps mobile sites. Online fashion retailer Myntra has decided to take the first step from the desktop to being exclusively available on the mobile app. This will be the first such instance of an E-commerce player transforming into a mobile-only entity as internet usage on Smartphones witnesses a surge in India. The company believes that the mobile app will bring in more innovations, such as adapting to a viewer's location or previous purchases. Currently, Myntra draws as much as 80% of its traffic and 70% of sales from its mobile app. Flipkart has also planned to move to app-only platform. Sites like Amazon and Snapdeal are raining offers for the consumers on their mobile apps.

A large chunk of the e-retailers opine that the shift to mobile app reduces unnecessary expenses and provides best-in-class consumer experience. It leads to higher conversion and engagement. If you build only an app platform, it is cheaper as you don't have to invest in two sets of codes - both mobile website and app.

On the other end of the spectrum, some merchants do understand that it is neither easy nor advisable to force their customers to go down take the app route. They do not want to force consumers to download an app. Some e- merchants are happy to let a consumer browse first and buy later, as they feel that it is difficult to convince consumers to download apps at the first instance. Many customers prefer to interact with retailers through their mobile websites and download an app only if they are given the desired incentive to do so or if they are regular shoppers. This shows that it is the consumer who wants the prerogative to decide how and when she wants to use their Smartphone to shop. Some entrepreneurs feel that traffic comes from the mobile platform, which includes both the mobile site and an app. They use the site as an acquisition platform and the app as a loyalty and retention platform, which also complements its desktop presence.

However, there are a number of considerations to take into account before deciding which route to take for your business- , a mobile app or both?

 When to choose mobile websites:
1. The primary source of consumers for a portal is still a desktop and the mobile traffic is increasing albeit at a slow pace
2. Development budget is not high ( as it costs more to develop an app)
3. It is important to reach a customer
4. The site does not get repeat sales
5. The customers do not need specific requirements like a camera and a microphone
6. If you think that consumers can download only a limited number of apps on their devices, it is better to choose a mobile site

When to choose mobile apps:
1. When there is a high brand recall
2. When mobile is the primary mode of traffic to your site
3. Apps install do not require a huge marketing effort.
4. Target audience is available more via apps and devices
5. Device specific capabilities are required
6. The site has repeat sales
7. You enjoy a loyal customers base
8. Last but not the least, when budget is not a constraint

And the winner is:
To sum up, mobile apps engage the consumers better and give a high personalized experience but it you need to market apps so that people are attracted to download it. After all, the user puts extra effort to download an app. In case of sites, you click and buy. With an app you click, download and buy. In the end we can say that the winner entirely depends on the type of your business. A two-pronged mobile strategy can leverage both a mobile site and an app for maximum distribution of your content. Hippo advices to churn the best of both options and make your business thrive!

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