Is a mobile app or responsive website what your business needs?

By Sarrah Ahmed

“Which is better: a responsive website or a mobile app?” When I ask this question around the office, I get the same reaction: “It depends on the context”. I guess it’s like asking whether you prefer a cup of tea or a cold crisp drink - the answer will vary based on your requirements, mood and possibly the weather. Arguably, both deserve equal attention.

With regards to mobile apps and responsive websites, the first port of call should be your audience. We already know that mobile and tablet internet usage is booming- is your business leveraging it? Instead of debating the pros & cons for each, businesses should ideally be considering both.

Responsive websites and your business

61% of web users will visit a competitor site if your website isn't mobile friendly. Nowadays, customers expect a slick online experience whilst Google’s algorithm update resulted in increased ranking for mobile friendly websites. To dazzle you with even more statistics - 48% of search traffic comes from mobile devices. If this has caught your attention then maybe now is the time to consider why your site needs to be responsive.

If your business is predominately information led and not currently mobile friendly, it will be worth considering a responsive redesign and build. Catering for a desktop user and ensuring their online journey from device-to-device is seamless will allow you to tick both boxes. You can then consider adding a brand app to further engage with your audience and support business wide objectives.

Responsive website are designed to work across all platforms so regardless of the device or browser, your website will look great!

Take a look at the beautiful responsive website we created for Curtis Furniture.

Mobile apps and your business

Mobile (or tablet) apps are great. They can help reiterate brand values, encourage further engagement and improve opportunities for conversions.

Essentially, a mobile app can do the same as a responsive website with some added features - it can access information and tools on the device (GPS, camera, contacts) - all features that help businesses deliver a personalised experience.

Generally speaking, a mobile app is used to further help a particular sales journey or enhance a specific element of a website. However, if you are considering a mobile app, it is worth noting that the app will need to be sympathetic to devices i.e. iOS app, Android and/or Windows. Also, when releasing an app to the market, Google Play is known to be lenient whereas the Apple store have stringent guidelines in place to ensure apps released are suitable.

So what is the right answer?

Impossible to answer. Both hold strong merits when it comes to mobile marketing. A survey by Salesforce found that 85% of respondents said mobile devices were a central part of everyday life, further reiterating the importance of mobile friendly platforms. If I had to answer, I would state ‘both’. If you don't already have an app but a responsive website your business could potentially be missing out an opportunity.

Before you get started

Check your analytics. What platforms and devices are currently being used to access your website and how long are they spending online? Check to see commonly visited pages by mobile and tablet devices

If 99% of all your traffic is coming from an iOS device, an iOS app should be your primary platform. Match current devices to proposed platforms

Determine objectives - if you choose to opt for a mobile app, determine why? Defining objectives will help you to consider functionality

Want to find out more? Contact us directly for an informal chat on what we can do for you.

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