No business can operate without customers and that is something every single entrepreneur can agree with. Moreover, whether you run your own business or work for another company, one thing is for sure – reaching out to your potential customers is a must. Nowadays, every company out there needs to have a solid marketing strategy in order to get noticed. However, what should be the foundation of that strategy? Should it be an app or a website?
If you think of it more carefully, maybe this isn’t an either/or question after all. Having both a website and an app has its benefits but the problem is that many companies just don’t have the budget for that. Some may still be in the early stages of development and they most likely can only afford one of these two solutions. On the other hand, some industries require apps while others are dominated by websites. Read on to explore this issue further and determine whether an app or a website suits your business better at the moment.
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Apps can be downloaded and installed on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. The two best platforms for apps include iOS and Android, which are operating systems for Apple devices and the devices manufactured by other companies such as Samsung, Huawei, and others respectively. In general, apps are faster and more responsive than websites. As you will be able to see, speed and responsiveness play important roles when it comes to user experience.
Interactive user engagement
Apps offer more interactive ways for users to engage. They allow you to offer your clients added value through new engagement channels. As opposed to storing static text and images on websites, apps allow you to integrate features that enable users to interact with dynamic content and specific components of the app. One of the best examples is Instagram, which allows its users to view images on the website but they cannot upload new images without the app.
This may not be so crucial for your business but apps can run without an internet connection. Technically, most of the apps require a connection but they can work offline as well. Since users can access the information whenever they want and wherever they are, this is a clear advantage. However, you should bear in mind that most apps can’t offer all their features offline.
The vast majority of apps allow users to set up their preferences as soon as they download the app. This way, users can customize the app to better suit their needs. On the other hand, this is not the case with websites. One could say that the greatest app value lies precisely in this feature – the ability for the user to tailor the app to some extent to better suit their own needs. Also, apps can track user engagement and use the gathered information to tailor custom recommendations and updates which can make the app even more useful to the user. Your business could also send customized communication to customers based on what they have interacted with within the app. Moreover, sending customized messages to your users can only have a positive impact on engagement and the conversion rate.
Apps have a more intuitive user interface, which makes it easy to complete various tasks. Thanks to this feature, users can become more immersed in the experience. Also, since users easily get accustomed to certain functionalities of their devices’ operating systems, developing an app for those particular platforms will offer users the functionality they expect. The bottom line is that website speed and responsiveness, no matter how good they are, can never compensate for the functionality that an app can offer.
On the other hand, a website can be a fantastic foundation for your marketing efforts. A website displays your online image, as it is a presentation of what you have to offer and what your business really stands for. Of course, building a website isn’t so difficult anymore but bear in mind that only a responsive website is a good website. If you fail to make it responsive or opt for bad design or hosting, you will harm your company’s reputation.
Build a website for everyone
A responsive website is a website that is compatible with different screen sizes. This is extremely important, as fewer and fewer people use a desktop computer to visit your website. All screen sizes have to be accommodated – the sooner you realize this, the better. And when you think of it, this is quite an advantage when compared to apps.
Best bang for your buck
Even though this has nothing to do with your customers, cost-effectiveness may be important to your company if you have a tight budget to work with. In general, it is cheaper to build a responsive website than to develop an app. Also, some website builders like WordPress offer website themes, some of which cost money. But there are also free ones that work great, especially if they are responsive to different devices. However, you should always be careful when selecting a theme for your website, since badly designed themes could make your site slow or not visually appealing. In order to avoid that, you should use the best WordPress business themes that will be a great foundation for your website and online presence in general.
Simply put, websites can be easily shared by publishers and between users. Website URLs can be shared through a link within your business email or text message. This is a clear advantage since you can easily direct customers to a website from other places. On the other hand, an app cannot be shared like this.
A website is more flexible when it comes to updating content. Changing the design or content of a website is relatively simple while updating an app requires a lot of work from your developers. And that is only the first step, since then the update has to be pushed to the end users so that they can download and install it on their devices.
Should you go for an app or a website?
Now that you have read about the benefits of both options, let’s see what may be the better choice for your specific business. When it comes to numbers, apps are winning. According to a report from Newzoo, the mobile app industry made 92.1 billion in the global app revenue in 2018 alone. In that same report, you will find that experts predict that this number will increase by over 50 percent by 2021. On top of that, users spend more and more time on their smartphones with a total number of mobile users standing at approximately 2.53 billion. On the other hand, you have to look at your business goals and then make a decision. Some companies don’t aim at offering mobile-friendly and dynamic content to a wide range of people. If that is the case with your company, a website is definitely a better option.
Finally, some settle for both options. As mentioned before, this does not have to be an either/or issue. Having both an app and a website is great. In fact, depending on your needs, building a great website that is accompanied by a cutting-edge app may even be the best option.