Responsive Site vs. Mobile Apps
What’s Best for Your Business?
The need for businesses to have a mobile presence is evident: 91% of people on Earth own a mobile phone, half of those people use their mobile phone as their primary internet source, and it’s predicted that by 2017 that 25% of all e-commerce transactions will take place on mobile phones.
So, the question isn’t “Should my company invest in a mobile presence?”, but “How should my company invest in a mobile presence?” On one hand, there’s Responsive Site Design: the site will adapt (or respond) to the size of the screen, and might add or subtract different functionality based on the optimal mobile experience. On the other hand are Mobile Apps: downloadable programs to be used on smartphones for a specific purpose or company.
Here are a few pros, cons, and considerations when making your decision:
What is the intended action of the user?
If using the phone’s camera, GPS, or other tools is imperative to complete the intended action then an app is the way to go. However, don’t be distracted by fancy functionality. These tools must enhance the user’s experience, not hinder it with unnecessary options. For instance, if simply reading content is the intended user action then a responsive site might be the easiest to implement, however, if the user will be downloading, or interacting with that content on a regular basis then an app will make it easier for the user.
How personalized is each user’s experience?
Apps are better when your users have highly personalized profiles, need to store data locally, or need to access photos. If your user is interacting with these functions often it will encourage brand loyalty as your app becomes a regular part of their day.
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