You already know that customers are using their mobile phones more and more to meet their shopping needs. You also know that you want to make your business as friendly to that activity as possible. However, the terminology may be tripping you up, specifically the difference between responsive websites or web apps and mobile applications. Making this distinction is essential if you are to determine which one of these is right for your business.
Responsive apps enable a shopper to use your company’s website with any mobile device regardless of the browser they are using or the size of their screen. Implementing this can occur on a domain you are already using; you don’t need to purchase an additional site. Since you are making use of your website and not a separate application, you also do not need to adhere to guidelines that are set up by Google or Apple in their application stores. Finally, these web apps are cheaper and less time-consuming to develop and implement.
On the other hand, they require customers to have an internet connection in order to be used. Frequently, images are slow to download and may require heavy utilization of the customer’s data in the process. Perhaps most important, responsive apps do not allow you to capitalize on features such as push notifications, QR codes, the phone’s camera or voice recognition. In other words, responsive apps are a step forward, but they do not enable you to take advantage of the full array of technological features available today.
Mobile apps cost more, but investing in one may be worthwhile for your business. The increased cost occurs because the app must be customized for each operating system. However, quality, speed and versatility are usually enhanced. An internet connection is not required since the user stores the app directly on their device. Loading times are shorter, and most people find these platforms more intuitive to use. In addition, because mobile apps are installed right on the phone itself, customers can avail themselves of all their built-in tools. Security is enhanced because there is no third-party internet connection. Best of all, once a mobile app is downloaded, it is easily available to the user without a protracted browser session and connection delays.
Embracing the smartphone revolution may be one of the best gifts you give to your business this decade. However, if you’re still on the fence about which type of app is best for you, getting an expert’s opinion might be the next step you should take. Contact one of the app professionals at Praxent to get customized advice based on years of experience and thousands of satisfied customers. By doing so, you too can connect with the ever-growing pool of mobile shoppers.