What’s the Difference Between Building a Mobile App vs. Website?

28 November, 2021

Embracing the unstoppable rise and impending dominance of mobile apps.

To think that messenger pigeons and smoke signals were once standard ways of communication just highlights how far we’ve come from the olden days. If it weren’t for modern-day instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber and WeChat, most of us would struggle with staying connected to our loved ones (and we wouldn’t have drunk texts to regret or ‘Text Neck’ syndrome).

There’s no denying that we live in a rapidly digitalising age. Pros and cons considered, there’s no going back now. In the last five years alone, mobile app usage has skyrocketed substantially. According to Statista, global consumers downloaded 218 billion mobile apps to their connected devices in 2020, almost doubling the 140.7 billion app downloads recorded in 2016.

From searching for products and services, to completing orders and purchases, consumers are increasingly reliant on their mobile devices to interact with businesses. Mobile apps offer a simple, streamlined touchpoint for businesses to stay in touch with current consumers while attracting new markets.

With convenience and “I want it right here, right now” attitudes driving digital behavioural changes, it’s time for businesses to embrace the advantages mobile apps have to offer.

Website vs. mobile app – top 3 differences for your business to consider

If you’re tossing up between building an app vs. a website, think about this – in 2018, global mobile app revenues amounted to over 365 billion U.S. dollars, and Statista projects the figure to climb to more than 935 billion U.S. dollars in 2023. Whether it’s through paid downloads or in-app advertising, that’s a mobile app usage trend that can’t be ignored.

Just like your eyebrows, web apps and mobile apps are born to be sisters, not twins. It’s essential to not get the two confused. There are key user experience differences, with each requiring their development and deployment to be strategised accordingly. Let’s get to the point, shall we?

Here’s an explanation of the 3 key differences between a mobile app and website that you need to know:

1. Interaction

Are you guilty of thinking that you don’t need a mobile app because you already have a website? You’re not the first, and definitely not alone in that common misconception.

However, it’s important that you realise the capitalisation potential of direct, interactive elements offered by mobile apps. With a mobile app, you can directly send push notifications to your customers’ phones, organise quizzes, create fun games, and send update alerts, just to name a few.

2. Customisation

Tailored to your marketing efforts, you can create a powerfully customised, interactive experience that’ll keep your customers coming back for more.

Compared to a website’s one-size-fits-all approach, mobile apps can be intuitively programmed to curate experiences for different groups of customers. This frees you to tailor and amplify your marketing tactics according to various target markets, without coming across as spammy or pushy.

3. Advanced Device Capabilities

Since mobile apps are a relatively new innovation, there are fundamental differences in platform capabilities between apps and websites.

On a mobile app, businesses can activate functionalities such as geo-location tagging, camera integration and live video features, to create personalised customer experiences. On the other hand, websites are still limited in their compatibility with widgets and on-the-go functions.

Moral of the story: If you can’t then, join them

No one likes a case of FOMO, we certainly don’t. While your website may still be performing well and helping you attract new leads in the short run, it’s not future-proof. Incomparable when it comes to customised interactions, and heaps more fun, developing a mobile app will open up new windows of opportunity for you and your business.

Not quite sure where to start with mobile app development? The Addicted To Apps can help you bring your dream mobile app to life. Walking you through the whole process, we’ll keep it simple and innovative, without the jargon and fuss.

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