Mobile Apps Vs Responsive Websites for Small Business
For small businesses, mobile marketing has become imperative as research suggests that total internet browsing time per month is much higher on the smartphones. It’s no more a time to ask whether to introduce mobile marketing as we have already past the tipping point when it comes to mobile marketing. With the usage of mobile devices on the rise, the debate of whether to develop a responsive website or mobile app has become even more relevant.
Why you need a Responsive Website?
It is a fact that a website disseminates information and educates customers about the brand and showcases its offerings. A responsive website serves two purposes. It helps the desktop surfer to get the information and makes browsing easier for the people on the go on their mobiles. Even then, whether to build a mobile responsive website or a mobile app is often the dilemma faced by small businesses.
According to a research study by Gallup, most of the American smartphone owners check their phones at least hourly. According to a study by Comscore, activity on mobile phones and tablets have fast overtaken desktops accounting for 60% of the digital media time spent in the US. The study reveals that out of the total time spent by the users on these devices, a majority of the time is devoted to mobile apps.
Why you need a Mobile App?
The statistics indicate, apart from building a responsive website, you also need a mobile app for your business. The reason is if the customers are not engaged through an app, you are not only missing on a huge audience but losing a lot of revenue as well. According to a research study by Criteo, mobile apps are the most efficient marketing channel for the retailers with a conversion rate, 3x times more than mobile web. The study highlighted the top retailers, bagging half of their sale on phones with smartphone transactions growing 30% year-on-year. The study also revealed some interesting facts about customers’ online behavior stating that new mobile app users are two-time more likely to return within 30 days as opposed to mobile web users. This supports the fact that small businesses need a mobile app for a better customer experience, engagement, more conversion, and retention.
For small businesses sustenance and customer retention is even more important as higher customer retention means more chances of creating lifetime customers. Retailers whose mobile apps offer capabilities like instant loading, push notification, home screen presence, offline content, more personalization, and access to other native functionalities create more engagement and provide richer customer experience with a 15% increase in transactions year-on-year. The study revealed that mobile apps convert the product viewers three times more than mobile web browsers.
Why your business needs both?
A mobile responsive website enables both iOS, Android and other mobile OS users to gather information and interact with your brand. It helps in validating the traffic as most of it would be from these devices. The product should be built with properly integrated analytics to get the estimate of the traffic flowing from different devices. A mobile responsive website helps you get the attention of both the mobile phone and the desktop surfers.
A responsive website becomes the natural choice to inform the target audience about the brand and increase reach. The app can further personalize and engage your customers providing a richer experience and helping you trickle the prospects down the sales funnel.
Some companies have simplified the process of developing and testing mobile apps which are affordable by the small business owners and are well within a comfortable price range. Few companies also provide templates that allow them to build mobile apps with varied features like RSS feeds, food ordering systems, loyalty cards, and mobile reservations. The drag and drop features allow the business owners to create apps and host them with the facility of collecting data in a straightforward way.
Few Useful tips for small business owners
Whether it’s a mobile app or a responsive website the analytics should be used to find out which OS is used by the target audience to access your site. This OS should be chosen in developing your mobile app to maximize the number of users and in offering them a richer experience. The features of the chosen OS should match with the desired app that you are trying to develop.
Needless to say, small business owners should be cautious about the experience they provide to their prospects and should test the app to ensure they are free of bugs. If the app provides poor customer experience, it can prove to be detrimental to the brand image which can be expensive for small businesses.
- A responsive website serves two purposes as it helps the desktop surfer to get the information as well as makes browsing easier for the people on the go on their mobiles.
- The statistics indicate that you may be having a responsive website, but if you don’t have a mobile app and are not engaging your customers, you are not only missing on a huge audience but losing a lot of revenue as well.
- Needless to say, the small business owners need to be careful about the experience they are offering to their prospects and should test the app to ensure they are free of bugs.