Businesses can no longer afford to not maintain a mobile presence. Rapidly increasing
smart phone usage and consumer preference for mobiles over desktops are major reasons
for brands to build a mobile presence.
Mobile apps and websites are both part of building a strong mobile presence. With
consumers spending 90% of their mobile device time on apps, it may be safer to assume
that app development needs to be a business priority.
Still, it helps to understand the differences between mobile apps and websites to conclude
which channel would serve your business and customers better:
Basic Design Difference
Mobile websites are browser-based. They use inter-linked HTML pages to present content.
Mobile websites can be accessed using Internet communication facilitators such as 4G or
The basic difference between a standard website and mobile site is that the latter is
designed for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile websites with a
responsive design are known to deliver a better user experience as such websites
automatically adjust to a device’s screen specifications.
Mobile apps, on the other hand, are applications that can be downloaded and stored on
mobile devices. Apps can be downloaded from the device-specific manufacturer such as
Google Play Store for Android devices and Apple’s App Store for iOS devices.
Unlike mobile websites, apps do not depend on browsers for functioning though they may
fetch data and content from the Internet. Content can be downloaded and be accessed
offline with apps.
Speed of Access
Mobile apps are faster than mobile websites as the former are first downloaded and then
accessed. Unlike websites, apps do not depend on servers for loading.
So, if you are looking to deliver a fantastic user experience, then mobile apps may be best
for you. If your website uses any kind of media content, then mobile apps can be beneficial
because 90% of people using mobile devices prefer apps to mobile websites for media
consumption (Source: Inc.com). Given the above statistic, mobile apps are a must if you are
a news, entertainment, or a retail business.
Mobile apps are indispensable for e-commerce businesses. m-commerce – the process of
using smartphones as against desktops or laptops for shopping – is expected to become the
future of shopping. By 2021, m-commerce will constitute 72.9% of retail e-commerce sales,
according to a Statista research.
If you are already using an e-commerce store such as Shopify or other, then this is a good
time to move to a mobile store entirely, or maintain an m-commerce store along with the e-
All you have to do is convert your Shopify or other e-commerce stores into native apps.
While there are mobile app converters, they may not be able to provide the extent of app
customization your business demands. Hiring an app development company can offer
Even if you do not have an e-commerce store, you can use apps for delivering specific
business functions. Known as mobile commerce in the mobile world, such specialized apps
deliver value by solving a customer issue. Well-designed mobile commerce apps can help
earn customer loyalty.
Mobile apps tend to offer enhanced user experiences. They have faster loading times, and
navigation and search are customized to mobile devices.
Native apps, in particular, are designed to make use of all features of the respective device
or platform (Android or iOS devices for example). Native apps can be designed to make
optimal use of device features such as camera, GPS, and other media or other tools, to
deliver a rich user experience.
The efficiency of native apps is one of the reasons for the emerging trend of app commerce.
App commerce refers to shopping, or any buy/ sell activity, using native apps. It is gaining
fast prominence among retail and other industries.
Mobile sites, even responsive ones at those, cannot achieve such leverage of native device
features as apps.
This ability of mobile apps to deliver fantastic user experiences is a major reason for the
rise in conversions through apps. A Criteo research found that mobile websites delivered
only a 4% conversion rate whereas mobile apps brought in an 18% conversion rate for
Mobile apps are gaining a faster edge over mobile sites. It may not necessarily mean that
your business does not need a mobile site though.
A mobile website could help you with the initial engagement when a consumer is just
getting to know your brand. Once customers are familiar with your brand, you can leverage
mobile apps to convert them into loyal purchasers and increase your customer retention