Mobile App vs Website? What to Select for Your Business?

Being an entrepreneur, if you have decided to develop an online solution for your business, then you might have various questions before choosing between the mobile app vs website.

  • What platform is easy to target my potential customers and make profits from?
  • Which medium is best to build within my budget?
  • Which medium offers the best results in terms of performance?
  • Do I need to provide offline access to my potential customers?

However, according to GS Statcounter, the market share of mobile is 56.94% and desktop is 40.3%. So, deciding which platform is crucial for your business between a mobile app or website creates confusion.

Therefore, to help you in choosing between app and website for your business, we have created this complete guide with the help of our expert mobile and web app developers to answer your question. Let’s get started.

What is the Difference Between Mobile App vs Website?

You might have a basic understanding of mobile apps and mobile websites but which solution would be more beneficial for your business is a matter of concern.

To give you an in-depth idea, we have shared the comparison of mobile apps and websites based on several factors. It will help you to understand the major differences and importance of it.

FactorsMobile AppWebsite
User convenienceMobile apps offer a better user experience as it has accessibility to core functionalities of a device.Websites have limitations and can’t access core resources of devices similar to mobile apps.
ShareabilityA mobile app has to be downloaded on a user’s mobile device before sharing its APK version with others.Website URLs are easily shareable with anyone.
Revenue ShareIn mobile apps, you need to provide a 15-30% service fee to app stores.Whereas, by developing a website you don’t need to pay any service fee.
ConnectivityIt is not compulsory that every mobile app requires an internet connection.To use a mobile website, internet connectivity is a must.
DevelopmentYou require specific development to create an app for each platform.You can develop a website using web technologies which offer the benefit of “write once, run anywhere”.
Device compatibilityA native mobile app can only function on a single operating system. An iOS app only works on iOS OS and an Android app only works on Android OS.While a website doesn’t have specific requirements, it can easily be accessed from any device through the web browser.
Utilization of device storageTo run a mobile app, your users need to install it on their mobile device and it uses the device’s storage to store data.Websites don’t use the storage of mobile devices as their data is stored in servers.
Audience reachApps are accessible to the audience who have smartphones and tablets.Mobile websites are compatible with all devices.

Moving further, we will discuss reasons when you should choose to develop a mobile application for your business. Understanding these reasons will allow you to make the right decision. Thus, you will spend your time and money in a consolidated way.

8 Advantages of Choosing Mobile App

  1. Use of Native Functionalities

  2. If you are planning to develop an application that should have access to the device’s core functionalities, you should choose the mobile apps. It provides access to the device’s core functions like Camera, GPS, Wifi-Hotspots, click-to-call, and Storage. This is the reason, mobile apps are specifically developed to work on any operating system of devices.

  3. Push Notifications

  4. Push notifications is a feature that is integrated to keep your mobile users engaged with your application. In fact, push notifications can increase the retention rate by 3-10 times, leading you to generate more business. Using this feature, you can send personalized messages to your app users.

  5. Instant Performance

  6. While planning to develop an online solution for your target audience, you want to focus on its performance. Then, it is recommended to choose a mobile app for your business over a website. Because mobile apps are faster than websites as an app uses a device’s resources while websites download the data from servers.

    Let’s take an example – Pokemon Go is an app that performs well on a smartphone because it uses the device’s core functionalities. But imagine, it would have been developed as a website game, then there might be compatibility issues and performance lack.

  7. You Want More Control to Your Business

  8. You have a business in which often you need to travel across different cities for business opportunities. Or you have a business that needs a streamlined process. What could be the solution to have control over the business or want to know how your business is functioning when you are not around?

    As a mobile app is handy and appropriate to give quick details, creating a mobile app for your business brings the benefits of getting access to your business information online within a centralized platform. It becomes easier to make better decisions towards your business growth.

  9. Create Personalized Marketing Channel

  10. Mobile apps allow you to offer better and strategic personalized content to your users. You get the option of showing personalized suggestions based on the user’s purchase history, demographics, and interest. Moreover, you can analyze and implement different marketing strategies to target audiences who have similar preferences.

    In addition, apps are efficient options to track and analyze the activities of the users. Thus, it will help in growing your business profits. For example, Netflix uses machine learning algorithms to provide an accurate recommendation of a web series or movies to bring more engagement.

  11. Better Monetization in App

  12. Mobile apps offer you a better way of making money with various methods of monetization. By developing a mobile, you can use strategies like in-app purchases model, subscription-based model, in-app advertising options, partnering with different brands. Another advantage of offering free applications is to attract audiences. After that, you can offer advanced benefits with any of the above monetization options.

  13. Offline Access

  14. The most fundamental advantage of having access to mobile apps is without the need for an internet connection. For instance, apps like Pocket allows users to read books without an internet connection, and Evernote allows you to take notes in offline mode. Thus, it becomes easier for your users to access information from anywhere, anytime, without needing an internet connection. However, this is not the same for all apps.

  15. Gain Users Feedback and Improve

  16. Adding an option for the users to share feedback will help you to know the app performance and improvement areas of the app. Not only this, it helps in identifying the challenges of your users. Thus, you can improve your mobile apps gradually. It will directly affect the engagement ratio of your users and increase customer loyalty for your business.

2 Disadvantages of Choosing Mobile Apps

  1. Long and Complicated Approval Process from App Store or Play Store

  2. One of the main limitations of developing a mobile app is the approval process from app stores. While releasing the app, you will need approval from app stores, such as Google Play Store and Apple App Store, to launch your application.

    Generally, to get approval from Apple Play Store will require around 24-48 hours, and from Google Play Store, it requires around 1-3 days for approval. It will take a few days to publish your app, and if your application doesn’t stand on their app releasing guidelines, it gets rejected.

  3. Compatibility Issues for Specific Operating System

  4. The app should meet specific operating system requirements of a device to work efficiently. To do so, you require to develop a mobile app for specific operating systems like Android, iOS, or Windows. However, cross-platform mobile app development is a good option. But the lack here is cross-platform mobile application frameworks don’t fully support every module and core feature of the mobile devices.

    For instance, if you want to implement 3D animated features and high-resolution graphics, then you face limitations while accessing the app. Therefore, these restrictions might affect the performance of mobile applications.

Now, as you have learned about the reasons, pros, and cons of selecting mobile apps over websites for your business. Let’s uncover the reasons for choosing a mobile website over a mobile app.

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5 Advantages of Choosing a Website

Mobile websites are responsive websites that are accessible from different mobile devices. Let’s discuss the possibilities when you should develop a mobile website for your business. These are the reasons:

  1. When You Want to Reach Broader Audience

  2. If you are planning to target a broader audience for your business, then creating a mobile website is a preferable option. Because a mobile-friendly website is easily accessible just by the mobile browser using URL. And your potential customers don’t require effort unlike installing mobile apps.

    While comparing a mobile app vs a website in terms of reaching an audience, a responsive website wins. For instance, Amazon has started a website only as an online book store. Then, later on, they created a mobile app.

    The global retail e-commerce sales are going to reach 5.4 trillion from 4.28 trillion in the upcoming years. Therefore, you get a good opportunity to become a part of this growing industry by developing a responsive mobile website.

    Besides, creating a website becomes a perfect choice because your website can rank on Google search engines as well as on other search engines. It will help you to reach a broader audience and get an opportunity to rank higher on search engines, leading the business to generate a better ROI.

  3. Cost-effective Solution

  4. Mobile responsive websites are a more cost-effective approach when you want to target multiple platforms. It becomes a preferable choice if you want to develop a solution within a fixed budget. On the other hand, developing a mobile app for different platforms will cost you more than developing a fully functional website. Thus, cost plays a vital role while choosing a solution between a mobile app or a mobile responsive website for your business.

  5. Easy to Update

  6. This is the important aspect while choosing a mobile app vs a website. Mobile websites cost less to update and maintain. When you have a website for your business, you just need to maintain that single platform. While in the scenario of mobile apps, you have to manage different versions of the different platforms.

    In responsive/mobile websites, it’s easier to edit and update content compared to native mobile apps. With apps, users have to install an updated version from Google Play Store or Apple App Store, once mobile app owners make any changes to their apps. Whereas on websites, you simply need to push the changes on a live site and after that, those changes will reflect on that website for all devices of any platform.

  7. Provide 24/7 Availability to Your Customers

  8. When you have a website for your business, your customer has the opportunity to access it anytime. The advantage of developing a mobile website is gaining more audience from search engines.

    A website can help you improve your customer experience, increase conversions, and digitally grow your business. Thus, compared to mobile applications, you get more chances to land users on your mobile website.

  9. Get Your Business Online

  10. Mobile websites are the easiest way to get your business online. A website helps to take your business online and allows you to target a worldwide audience. According to Statista, there are around 59.5% of the global population active on the internet worldwide.

    Gaining this opportunity will help to grow your business world by leveraging the benefits of the digital transformation of your business. Let’s take an example – AliExpress is a well-known e-Commerce platform around the world. The website was mainly started to sell their products to a worldwide audience.

Disadvantages of Choosing a Website

  1. Usability Issues

  2. Mobile websites are incompatible to access all the native features. Therefore, it becomes challenging for the users to perform certain tasks on mobile devices that rely on core native features.

  3. Slower Performance Compared to Native Apps

  4. A native app uses the core functionalities and is specifically developed for a particular operating system. Whereas mobile websites completely depend on servers and fetch the data from web servers through an internet connection which makes them slow.

Still Confused to Choose Between a Mobile App or a Website for Your Business?

Let our experts help you to choose the best platform for you.

FAQ About Mobile App vs Website

  1. What is the process of mobile app development?

  2. The process of mobile application development is divided into 10 steps.

    1. Market research and understanding project requirements
    2. Planning and analyzing of mobile app
    3. Validate the mobile application idea
    4. Sign an NDA to protect your app idea
    5. Wireframing of mobile application
    6. Designing UI/UX of the mobile application
    7. Mobile application development
    8. Mobile application testing
    9. Launching of mobile application
    10. Maintenance and upgrade

    To get more ideas, read the blog on developing a mobile application with an accurate process.

  3. If I want to develop a mobile website, how would you help me to validate my idea?

  4. Here are the steps with which you can validate your idea:

    • Conduct market research to understand the requirements of your users
    • Understand the market potential by taking the idea of its depth
    • Develop an MVP of your idea
    • Launch and check whether your product fits the needs of your target audience
  5. What are examples of native mobile apps?

  6. There are four frameworks that are currently in trend for mobile app development:

    • Pokemon Go
    • Spotify
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Netflix

Ready to Develop a Mobile Application or Website for Your Business?

In this blog, you have learned the differences, pros, and cons of mobile websites vs mobile apps. But, here we would like to draw your attention to one of the important aspects that you should choose a medium depending on your business and its requirements. Because both the solutions have their own advantages and disadvantages.

If you are focusing more on user experience and you need to access native functionalities, then a mobile app would be a better choice. But, if you are looking for a cost-effective solution and want to target a broader audience, then a mobile website is suitable for you.

Still, if you are confused about which solution to choose for your business, then let our experts help you to choose the best for you. Being a leading mobile app development company in Canada, we have a team of in-house mobile app developers who have expertise in developing custom solutions for all levels of business. Get a glimpse at our work by checking our portfolios to know how we have developed some of the best mobile applications.

You can contact us through the ‘Contact Us’ page and get a free consultation from our expert developers.

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Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.