Mobile website vs mobile app for small business

Is a mobile website or mobile app better for my business?

By the end of 2012, it's predicted that over 8.8 million Australians will own a smartphone. This boom also means a huge increase in the number of people accessing the web on the go instead of by traditional desktop computer.

In fact,
reports suggest that by 2013, more people will access the web by phone than on any computer.

With such rapid change occurring, small business owners need to focus on developing mobile strategies to help their customers can find and buy products and services online, no matter what device they are using to connect.

When it comes to mobile, there are two ways your customers can visit your site - by
optimising your website for smartphones or developing a mobile apps.

SME mobile website or mobile app?

This really depends on the type of product or service your business offers, as well as the ways your existing and potential customers access your website.

Optimising your website will be a better option for your business if:

  • You are trying to build awareness for your business using mass-marketing strategies.

  • You have limited funds available. Developing and creating mobile apps is far more expensive than optimising your website for smartphones - or buying a website with an online shopping cart that automatically optimises for mobiles. Not only will you have to pay for the application itself, but you'll need different versions for different devices, such as iPhone, Android etc.

  • Your business is in its infancy and you need to ensure you cater to as many people as possible, regardless of their mobile type and willingness to download things to their phone.

  • You need to make regular changes to your website. This is generally cheaper and easier to do on an optimised site than having to outsource a development company to make changes to your app.

A mobile application will work best for your business if:

  • your customers sit within a niche market where you have a good understanding of your customer's mobile usage behaviour. Otherwise you'll need to invest in expensive user behaviour studies before launching your app.

  • you want to be able to provide an very personalised mobile experience to different target audiences. In other words, an app is the easiest way to ensure people can find the information most relevant to them, in the quickest time possible, and generally have a great experience with you.

  • your business is well known within your industry sector  i.e. if lots of customers search for your company by name, you're more likely to have a good ROI from creating an app  - as more people will download and use it.


Read how other Australian businesses have devised mobile strategies for their products and services, with great success here.

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