10 Dec Do You Really Need a Custom App?
There are more smartphones than people in the United States, and a greater percentage of customers are searching for businesses on mobile devices. Naturally, this means your website should be optimized for mobile. But too many companies automatically assume they should have their own app simply because of mobile usage stats.
It’s important to understand the difference between a mobile website and an app so you can make an informed decision about which is the best option for your business.
What is a Mobile Website?
A mobile website is much like a regular website, hosted on the Internet and accessed through a Web browser, but designed for use with smaller screens and touch screens.
They are often designed to translate seamlessly between devices, so that visitors have the same experience whether they’re viewing your website on a laptop, iPad or a smartphone. Responsive mobile websites automatically detect a viewer’s device settings and adapt appropriately to the display.
What is a Mobile App?
Apps are independent programs and do not rely on the Internet to run. They must be downloaded and installed on a device. Mobile apps can be free or paid, but most companies offer their apps free to consumers in favor of marketing value.
Both mobile websites and apps typically offer features that make it easier for mobile device users to find and reach you, including social sharing, mobile commerce (online shopping) and one-click calling.
Which should you choose?
Both have benefits, but, like any marketing strategy, you have to know your goals. So many companies declare they want an app just because it’s trendy, then cannot answer the simple question, “What will your app do?”
Our rule of thumb is, an app must make the customer’s life easier. It must do something that can’t be achieved by going to the website, mobile or not, from the device.
Mobile apps, if done right, can offer geo-targeted push notifications that alert device owners when they’re near your business, and data collection capacities that help you personalize your marketing.
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