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What is the difference between a Mobile App and Mobile Website?

If your business is in need of a mobile presence, you might have wondered about the differences between having a mobile app and a mobile website. What are the key distinguishing features of the two, and which, if any, are better? We’ll be covering everything you need to know in this post. 

Mobile App vs Mobile Website: The Basics

First off, let’s look at the absolute basic definitions of a mobile app and website. Mobile websites are usually an extension of a computer-based website, which your business more than likely has (start here if not!). 

If your business has a computer-based website, your audience will be able to view it on their phone screens, but it won’t necessarily be mobile-friendly. That’s where you may need to step in to make a mobile-friendly version of your website, with readable text and features that are designed to fit the screen. 

Mobile apps, on the other hand, are software applications that are solely designed to run on a mobile device. You can rarely download an app on your computer, and in some cases, apps might only be available for one type of operating system, such as iOS or Android. 

Difference 1: Accessibility

Ideally, you’re looking for a way to make it as easy as possible for your customer to reach you online. In the case of mobile, apps tend to be better for this purpose. An app has the benefit of being right there on a user’s home screen, and can be accessed with one click, sometimes without the need for internet connection.. Mobile websites, on the other hand, can only be accessed via a Google search, which takes more time and relatively more effort. 

Difference 2: Versatility

With a mobile website, your aim is to provide as much information about your business as your customer needs to know, as you would with a computer-based website. This means your options to play around are fairly limited, as you can’t really pick and choose which important information is included. With a mobile app, however, you can be much more versatile. You could make a digital punch card app, for example, to encourage customer loyalty, or an app for booking your services or making an order with little effort on their part.

Difference 3: Immediacy 

Mobile websites have the advantage of being instantly available to a customer. Yes it takes a few more clicks to reach them, but they can be accessed by everyone, at any time. Mobile apps, on the other hand, need to be downloaded before use. This may be an annoyance to some customers, especially as storage space continues to be a major issue on modern smartphones today. 

Some apps may even come at a cost, which is even less appealing to a new customer. It’s advisable that if you’re making an app for your business, you think long and hard about pricing it before you decide on anything, as it may greatly affect your mobile marketing success. 

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