Does My Website Require An App?
Do I need an app for my website or just an app, is a question many businesses have wrestled with. Apps came onto the scene in 2008 and since, they have changed the way that we connect, carry out tasks and live our lives.
They have simplified a range of processes and given businesses the potential to reach a wider audience with minimal effort.
Whether you use a tablet or a smartphone, apps are commonplace and something that almost everyone has encountered at some point.
Whether you’re a remote working business selling clothes, selling food or you offer a specific service, it’s natural to assume that you need an app.
However, why do businesses automatically assume that they need an app? Is it a case of following the crowds and competitors? Do you think your customers will benefit from an app or will they see it as more of a hindrance? In fact, what about the mobile-friendly, responsive website that you had made?
Surely a responsive website design delivers the same experience, but in a browser instead of an app. There is a lot of conflicting information out there but many businesses will spend money on app development as they look to meet the needs of their customers. Yes Apps are expensive, but can look good, work offline, integrate smoothly with a mobile device cameras and GPS for location based marketing.
So, if you are considering an app or wondering if you need one, it can help to carry out some useful research to ensure that you are making the right decision. The last thing you want to do is spend large amounts of business savings on an app when it make zero difference to your reach and user experience. Our Web Design Surrey UK page tells you specific reasons for website development.
In contrast, you won’t want to miss out on an app if it’s critical you need one. So, we aim to help you to understand in an easy way what is what when it comes to the world of apps.
App or Website,
What is the Difference?
Everyone has a clear understanding of what a website is as they have been around for decades. Almost every day individuals will browse websites but they are accessed via browsers and deliver content in many different forms. This can include the likes of digital content, images, video and audio.
However, websites are designed to deliver information in a one-dimensional way. This means that users generally don’t interact with the website but instead browse services or products before taking action. Websites can also be scaled down so that they can become mobile websites and these are designed for smaller devices such as smartphones or tablets. They are designed to behave responsively, which means that they change based on your device, automatically adjusting the size of the content and the layout based on your device.
In contrast to this, Apps are applications that are designed with a specific functionality and certain interactive elements. When you consider the likes of social media platforms, they all perform better through apps than they do as mobile websites because they are dynamic and designed for user engagement. User apps are designed to be customisable and that makes them more difficult to build than websites because they require experienced designers and developers.
Essentially, apps are downloaded through the likes of the Google Play Store or the iOS store and once downloaded, they are then installed on the device. An app can have content that is built directly into it or it might choose to draw down information from the internet such as a sports news app. However, the latter will require an internet connection in order for users to use the app in its entirety.
Mobile websites are not downloaded but can be accessed via a browser. They can be viewed at any time and they do not require a download or installation which takes up space on the user’s device. In some respects, a mobile-friendly website is a lot easier to build than an app. This is because many designers use the likes of WordPress Web Design and they come with built-in mobile responsiveness, which means that everything is taken care of. It becomes easier for the user to browse a mobile website as and when they need to instead of having an app stored on their phone that they might not use frequently.
App or Your Website,
What Works Best ?
Ultimately, deciding on whether to use an app or your website comes down to your business objectives. It also depends on what business you are running as that can determine what you choose.
If you are a business that has a focus on pleasing your audience while perhaps overlooking the true meaning of what you want to achieve, then an app will work to some extent. Sure, many people are now doing more on their smart devices than ever before but that doesn’t automatically translate into the need for an app.
Apps are designed for convenience and functionality. If you’re a food delivery service then you probably will benefit from an app but as a plumber or a marketing agency, an app probably won’t suffice for several reasons. First of all, the cost probably cannot be justified but why would potential clients download an app to browse your services?
Shopify & WordPress WooCommerce Can Rival Apps
You might be a supplier at a trade event or consumer show like Comic Con, and you want to sell an Exclusive show package to visitors with drop ship. E-commerce websites can unlock exclusive windows within sites via a product key, allowing access to special consumers.
We at Cream Soda Media, a digital marketing agency in Surrey UK, had clients who believed they required attendees to download an app for this exclusive product, because they didn’t want it seen on the general website for everyone else outside the show.
The cost of an app was not justified and we persuaded clients to simply create landing pages with responsive design that could be unlocked with a promo code. These e-commerce web pages work the same and look the same as an app.
We created an online booking e-commerce web design for weymouth rip charter. Check them out and see how their mobile website works fine vs what an app could do. As a tourist requiring a fast efficient secure booking for the family, you don’t want to be downloading an app with a bunch of kids by your side. Rather you can google search for a top ranking tour guide, who has a fast secure booking feature easily navigated on a mobile device.
Do Apps Or Websites Make Your Business Look Modern?
The main thing is to provide your audience with the easiest and most efficient way to access your products. Sure, an app will give your business a modern appearance but that doesn’t always lead to success. In fact, with mobile responsive websites becoming a crucial element of ranking higher on search engines, it could be worth placing a greater focus on this. This is because you can create a mobile responsive website that works like your main desktop website while the e-commerce functionality, design and menus are all designed to work seamlessly with smart devices.
Yes mobile use is soaring due to improved 5G coverage but not everyone wants to download to their phone a needless and pointless app. Consumers are very wary of new apps wanting their details, apps that keep crashing, apps that drain batteries and those with push notifications.
All users want is to browse a website and then take action and that’s what you can deliver. The main consideration to make is to ensure that your website works exceptionally well and offers a great user experience. If you can achieve both of these things through your website, why do both with an app?
Of course, an app might offer better features and functionalities but that doesn’t make them the right choice. Therefore, the main thing to consider is what you want your website to do, how you want to do it and how your target audience will react. If you can get all of those things lined up through a website, then why bother considering an app at all?
Do Apps Bring Any Solutions Over A Website?
If you were to have an app, what sort of problem would it sove for your customer? If an app would add no value to the experience for them or offer any sort of functionality then what is it actually doing when compared to your optimised website?
Think about any potential problems that your customers might be facing and then decide if an app will solve them. Will it provide them with more efficiency when ordering or will they be able to complete additional tasks with an app? If the answer is no, then you might want to consider spending your money in other areas of your business.
Look at your mobile website and ask yourself does it do everything that you and your customers need it to do? If they can make a purchase or browse your products with ease then why overcomplicate things with an app? Sometimes, less is more and deciding to have an app on a whim could cause you significant problems.
Before deciding whether you need an app, invest in optimising your site for mobile. The truth is that responsive web design can greatly improve the user experience and with many responsive themes available, it’s a simple thing to do and could be clear proof that you don’t actually need an app. Once this is undertaken you can then take an honest view.
Another thing to consider is what your competitors are doing. If they have an App, then this is your perfect chance to check out the statistics and see how many app downloads they have had. The numbers will tell you whether it’s a worthwhile process but if the numbers are low then this will tell you that you should probably spend time working on your website instead.
Why Are Apps Preferred Over Website Development?
First and foremost, businesses want you to use their app because they have spent money developing it. After spending money on an app, the last thing they want is for it to sit there gathering dust in the virtual world.
The next thing is that they want to showcase their business and how they are modern and forward-thinking. This might be true but ultimately, not every business needs an app, especially if their website is all singing and dancing. It’s a simple approach but businesses want to be seen to be proactive when it comes to thinking about their customers but there are other ways to do this. Not every customer is going to want to download and install an app. They won’t want to register either and that causes them problems.
Businesses believe that an app will be smoother, faster and easier to use but that is not always the case. In fact, apps can suffer from bugs and crashes across different devices but in general, browsing websites is a fairly seamless experience and that’s the real difference between an app and a website. Sure, we have all experienced crashed browsers and unresponsive websites but we have all experienced the same with apps.
Businesses want to give customers options and choice, they want to make them feel as though they are in control but that is not always strictly true. For many businesses, an app can help them to increase profits but this is not a given for every scenario. Spending money on an app could be like throwing money down the drain because an app doesn’t automatically guarantee success.
App Development Or Responsive Website – conclusion
The reality is that there are two options available to businesses – to have an app or not have an app. Many businesses can fall into the latter option because their website can be optimised so it works on smart devices, giving users a seamless experience. This means that they can use your mobile site in the same way as your desktop site and that means that it behaves much like an app. We, a digital marketing agency in Surrey UK, advocate there’s no need to spend money on an app because now is the time to focus on optimising your website, especially now that the likes of Google consider this hugely important.
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