Mobile Site or Mobile App?

If you have chosen to “go mobile” you have just made one of a series of important decisions. The next decision is just as important. What is right for your company, a mobile site or an app?  The answer should be based on what you want your website users/customers to do while mobile. Remember this, the mobile user has a different piece of technology in front of them, compared to the desktop version.  Therefore, what they will do will be different.

With the popularity of the iPhone and their big TV media campaigns, it seems there truly is an app for everything. But not everyone has an iPhone and not every business can afford to develop apps, including apps for the different mobile platforms of android, apple, and blackberry.  Then there are all the tablets to consider as well.

Apps certainly have a strong role to play in the mobile web. They are a great way to provide specific functionality to your loyal customers such as performing transactions, downloading media, or accessing customer specific accounts. Great examples are the social media apps for Facebook (just look at personal page mobile uploads) and banking apps.

Mobile sites do not need to be written to be device specific, rather they are display size specific.  They should operate consistently across the range of different mobile browsers.  Development costs should be less and development time should be shorter.

The next criteria to consider when deciding what path to pursue is when and why your customer will need to find you from their mobile phone. Will they go to the mobile marketplace (such as the iStore or Blackberry App World) to download your app for future use or will they search for you from their phone when they have a specific need?   Another example should illustrate this. A user who wants to check the current weather and the forecast for their home town on a regular basis could make good use of an app. A user who needs to find a tow truck will search on Google, likely for a phone number. It is unlikely they will have a tow ‘truck app’ on their phone just in case.  The good news here is that the mobile site content will be indexed in search engines.

Now you have the important criteria to you plan your strategy to “go mobile”.   Carefully think through the decisions above then make your decision based on the answer you get.

If your decision becomes mobile site then you will want to check out the Mobile Site Development Service from Netnotic Marketing.  If your decision becomes a mobile app, we have a great developer we can refer.