What is your ‘mobilenomics’ strategy? Mobile first or mobile only?

By | May 07, 2015 |2 Comments| 1808 views

StoreHippo answers the tricky questions for e-commerce bosses.

The advent of M-commerce has set forth a new parameter for businesses to consider- should they go for a mobile site or a mobile app, or perhaps a healthy mix of both will deliver the well balanced diet required to grow your business? Mobile sites and apps both are strategic marketing channels which lead to attracting traffic to your web store, building up a loyal customer base and expanding the reach of your business. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on handheld devices such as Smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Android, Windows and Blackberry) and tablets.

The supporters of mobile sites feel that a website which works across mobile devices is enough to suffice to the needs of a brand. A responsive website (which adapts to all screen sizes) is easy to create and people can easily view a mobile site on their devices, so a mobile app is simply not required. On the other hand, the mobile app brigade feels that nothing can match the benefits of an app since it gives a constant, personalized touch to the consumers.

A mobile app and website look similar to each other and deciding what will best suit your business depends upon a number of factors like cost, target audience, time required for development, purpose of your brand and much more. So, what’s your ‘mobilenomics’ strategy for your business? Hippo is here to help you to take your decision.

What is the difference in a mobile website and a mobile app?

Before we take the debate further, it is important to understand the basic difference in a mobile website and a mobile app.

A mobile website is designed specifically for the smaller screens and touch-screen capabilities of Smartphones and tablets and displays display content, data, images and video like any other website. It can be accessed using any mobile device's web browser, like Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android. When users’ type in the URL or click on a web link, the website automatically detects the mobile device and redirects the viewer to the mobile version of the website. 

A mobile app is an actual application that is downloaded and installed on a mobile device, rather than being rendered within a browser. Unlike a mobile website, a mobile app must be downloaded and installed, typically from an app marketplace, such as the Apple App Store or Android's Google Play store. The app may pull content and data from the Internet, in similar fashion to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection.

The pros and cons of mobile sites

A mobile site can be accessed just like any other normal website and supports mobile-friendly features and content is optimized to be viewed on Smartphones and mobile devices. A mobile website is better than a regular website since the mobile site is available 24*7 to the consumers, and they can make purchases with a just a click of a finger, at any place. Mobile websites are an asset for a business and with growing usage of mobiles, you simply can’t afford to ignore it. It is not expensive to create a mobile optimized site, it is easy to set up and works on all devices.

The flipside is that no push notifications and updates can be sent. It can’t be accessed offline, doesn’t have an app store presence and a poor design can cause cluttered looks and performance problems.

The pros and cons of mobile apps

A mobile app has a higher brand recall since it finds a secure place right on a customer’s device. Push notifications and updates can be sent. The speed of accessing content is faster on an app. The content can be accessed offline too. For example, one can listen to a favourite song or read an article. A mobile app is easier to access than a site- you don’t even need to type the URL. A business owner can track his customers and gather data about customer's preferences and behaviours in an effective manner. Mobile apps also mean less data usage and lower load on the server.

The flipside is that you have to first download and install it. At times, some malicious apps may access and misuse your private information. Moreover, some people may choose not to download an app as they feel it is of not much use to them. Apps add to the costs for a company and specialized people are required to develop apps.

For convenience, we have tabulated the comparison in a mobile site and mobile app.




StoreHippo’s advice

Rajiv Kumar, CEO and founder of Storehippo.com opines, "When you develop a mobile app there are less number of devices to manage because apps work only across mobile devices but this is not the case for sites which are developed to work across many types of devices." So does it make sense to go app-only? Rajiv Kumar doesn't think it's a great idea. "I do not contemplate moving to an exclusive mobile-app-only platform. A mobile website is the first step to register a mobile web presence, whereas an app has a very specific purpose that cannot be effectively accomplished via a web browser. Mobile apps and sites have their individual benefits and go hand-in-hand. Yes, a handful of the big players in the e- commerce industry are getting 60-70 per cent of their transactions via mobile apps, one can't afford to ignore those customers who do online shopping via mobile sites, or over laptops and desktops."

Conclusion

To sum up, a mobile website is your first step in developing a mobile web presence, whereas an app serves a very specific purpose that cannot be effectively accomplished via a web browser. When it comes to deciding whether to build a native app or a mobile website, the answer really depends on your end goals. However, one can safely say that it doesn’t make sense to build an app without already having a mobile website in place. We will continue with more information. Keep reading our blog for more details...

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2 Comments

Nice Article

By: richa
Jun 08, 2015   Reply

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Very Nice Article.. Superb

By: myonlinecadotin
May 08, 2015   Reply

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