Many people are confused over the differences of mobile website compared to a mobile app. And many belive that by having a mobile website, they are taking care of their customers mobile needs.
In reality there is a very large gap between a mobile website and smart phone app. One is basic and “stupid” while the other one is dynamic and “smart”.
Speed & Access
The main thing you are going to notice is speed. And when mobile users are trying to get information; they are on just leaving, on their way or right around the corner and need that information ASAP!
Mobile websites are at a disadvantage here because they have to load every page of information from the internet. Even here in Las Vegas, internet can get very slow when your on the strip with tens of thousands of other people. Sometimes when your in large buildings, under ground, or a parking garage your network might not work until you get a stronger signal. This makes mobile websites very slow and sometimes even non responsive. Any delay will turn visitors away and loose you customers.
Mobile Apps can work 100% offline and have instant response time! So no matter where your customer is, they can get the information they need immediately even without a phone signal. By having all the information already preloaded on their phone, customers can quickly jump through the app and find exactly what they want…immediately.
Customized Experience & Relevant Information
Mobile websites are static and must provide access to all information. Which makes them cluttered and not very friendly to use. Its hard for customers to find what they need, and if they do they need to load each page to find the information they needed.
Mobile Apps can by dynamic and smart. They can remember the users previous use, and store only the relevant information the customers accesses most. This way you can have the information pre-loaded and ready for the customer, even before they know they are looking for it.
Mobile Websites can only record a minimal amount of information about the user. Making it hard to track or learn more about your customer. You are limited to access times, estimated location by state and have no way to connect with them once they close your website.
Mobile Apps have a million features that you can put to use, to track, locate, tag, remember every customer! The most common is user preferences, allowing the customer to customize their experience and make it their own. When they have control, they are more likely to use your app and use it more often. However you can take this a step further and track and data gather from your customers. You can implement GPS to know where they are using your app. Data tracking to know how often and when they use your app. Networks so you know who they are using the app with and who they are interacting with. The sky is the limit!
Mobile Websites have no way for you to market to visitors unless they willingly signup for your newsletter and verify their email address.
Mobile Apps have integrated “push notification” options, which 93% of people “ALLOW” by default. This means that you can now send popup messages to almost all your users phone at any time! Instantly turning a visitor into a marketing campaign!