A mobile website or a mobile app? What’s better for your online business?
In the present-day world, having a website for your business has almost become a necessity. More and more entrepreneurs are opting for reaching out to their customers via their online presence, instead of advertising in local newspapers or putting out boards on the streets. Nowadays, it’s almost taken for granted that every business needs a website. (Learn about the 8 due diligence tips all online entrepreneurs should be aware of!)
However, if you look around you’ll notice someone or the other browsing the Internet on his/her tablet or smart phone. Considering the rising popularity of mobile computing and telecommunication devices like phablets, tablet pcs and smart phones, the world is literally at our fingertips these days! It is for these reasons that you cannot avoid capitalizing on the rapidly expanding mobile devices’ market. If you don’t, you stand the risk of getting far behind in the business race.
You may be asking yourself the question – Do I really need a mobile website? Or a mobile app will be better instead? Could it be that I need both?! Let us ponder over these questions.
All businesses require mobile websites
Without a doubt, your business requires a mobile website. Why? Because more than 120 million people in the United States alone use mobile devices like smartphones to access Internet on a daily basis. This number continues to grow exponentially.
Yet, for reasons known only to them, around 90% of the businesses having an online presence have not optimized their websites for mobile devices. Simply put, you are losing out on a lot of business if your website continues to be a pain when browsed through on a mobile device!
In fact, mobile devices have transformed the way people shop online. Nowadays no one waits until he/she reaches his/her laptop or desktop to make some online purchase. Being in possession of a mobile device connected to Internet means that you can shop from anywhere in the world, any time you want. All online businesses, especially the ones that provide time sensitive deals must bank on this 24/7 shopping opportunity available with people.
If you’re really serious about getting your online business noticed, having a mobile version of your website in place can help you tremendously in this regard. Going by the statistics revealed by CTIA – The Wireless Association in the year 2010, close to 264.5 million mobile devices (with data capability) are being actively used by consumers. This is how things stood 5 years ago. Imagine what would those figures look like today?!
The point I’m trying to drive home is that you may already be a successful online entrepreneur, but you can make your profitability and revenue go through the roof by simply taking a small step to tap into the mobile devices’ marketplace.
Apart from having the inherent adaptability to smaller screen sizes, mobile websites are comparatively easier to browse, considering their touch friendly navigation. Consumers get better access to products, meaning that your conversion rates will also be comparatively higher.
Having the mobile version of a website in place also helps in improving the local market visibility. If your business is more local in nature and is lagging behind, mobile marketing can go a long way in bringing loads of local customers to your website. The key to turning those targeted visitors into paying customers lies in providing easily accessible information.
Your mobile website should clearly show the location of your business on a map, apart from other crucial contact details. Leading your mobile website’s visitors to other important pages like “Promo Codes”, “Offers”, “About Us” etc. using effective pointers can also help significantly in converting the traffic.
What type of mobile website does your business need?
Now that you can appreciate the need of having a mobile website, you must also consider the kind of mobile website your business requires.
What service/products does your business sell? Information? Solutions? Mobile coupons? Designer wear? Even if your business doesn’t sell anything tangible, as long as you are selling something on internet for a profit, you need to have mobile presence.
Your mobile website should at least provide all relevant information related to your business such as its exact location, directions and services/products offered.
(Your website design should be equally responsive in all environments)
On the other hand, if your business is about making direct sales on the internet, you’ll need to have an efficient online store in place. This online store will need to be compatible with both desktop and mobile layouts, apart from being equally responsive in both the environments. The kind of fast-paced life we lead nowadays, people like to buy things on the fly. Hence, having an efficient mobile web store in place can help people make quick and easy purchases, regardless of their location. (Learn some effective optimization tips to make the most of your online store!)
Does your business require a mobile app instead?
Mobile applications can be excellent mediums to connect with your customers on a truly personal and customized level. Apps or applications developed exclusively for your business enable customers to connect directly with your business without the need of using an internet browser. All you customers need to do is click on your mobile app’s icon and that’s it!
(Mobile app of popular apparel brand ‘GAP’)
A mobile application also gives you the opportunity of interacting with your customers on a real-time basis. You can access their social media profiles to get a better idea about their preferences, location etc. A well-planned mobile application can make the buying process much easier for the customers.
In fact, some big brands have their own specific mobile applications that keep their customers updated about currently applicable discount coupons and ongoing promotions. This significantly enhances the consumers’ shopping experience and goes a long way in making them repeat customers.
Offering discount coupons is by far the best method of monetizing an online business, and offering them through an efficient mobile app is an excellent way to do it. Your customers are more likely to visit your mobile website and make purchases if such app keeps them updated about the latest discount coupons as and when they arrive.
A mobile website or a mobile app? Actually, your business needs both!
We’ve already gone over the benefits of having a mobile website. Now you also know the pros of mobile apps. It will make great sense if your business has them both.
As detailed earlier, a mobile website is simply one that is more responsive and easily accessible in a mobile device environment. Having a mobile website also increases your chances of getting ranked high in the Google search results, in comparison to regular websites. Having a responsive online presence that is adaptive to all screen sizes is really looked up to by Google.
Mobile apps take your intent of making things easier for your visitors a step further by providing them with a personalized connection with your business.
If pondered over carefully, having both – a mobile website and a mobile application – can really mean big returns for your business.
Any business (regardless of its size) that has an online presence cannot ignore the importance of mobile websites and what they can do for their bottom lines.
No one likes wasting time waiting for a website to load or scrolling up, down and across to completely view all the screen information. You also can’t expect your visitors to figure out their way through your website on their own. Having a well-planned mobile website can resolve all these issues. On the other hand, having a mobile application can help you further your customer-centric efforts.
Hence, to conclude, you should have both mobile website and mobile application to build and retain your customers’ loyalty.