Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mobile Optimized Websites vs. Mobile Apps

My question concerns the ever-increasing functionality of mobile-optimized websites compared to apps for companies. What are the advantages and disadvantages compared to one another? Do certain businesses lend themselves better to one or the other? Is it a good idea to have both, or to focus on one or the other?

1. When we make purchases online, we’re used to doing so using a monitor and a mouse, and quickly scrolling between webpages. By contrast, the screen of a smartphone is tiny, connection speeds are slow, and fingertips on a touchscreen aren’t as nimble as a palm over a mouse.

As such, it behooves e-commerce sites to make the mobile experience as efficient as possible. This can be accomplished best through the options available in a mobile app, as opposed to tweaking an existing website. The difference is between a makeover and a Band Aid.

2. A mobile app is more expensive and more complex than a mobile-friendly website.

3. Creating a mobile app can introduce your company to new audiences (through the App Store), whereas optimizing your site for mobility is likely to strengthen your relationship with existing customers.