Back in the day, if you wanted to create a digital presence for your business and allow clients and customers to discover and hire your company online, there was but one option: build a website. Today though things have changed, and so too has the web. Now more and more people are accessing the internet using mobile devices rather than computers and apps are becoming more and more crucial to the way we get information and order business.
If you want to create more of a digital presence for your site then, or want to enhance the service you offer to your visitors, you have a choice: app or website?
Understanding the Differences
Of course, any business should have a website by now and most should probably have an app of some sort too. This will allow more people to discover your business, increase brand awareness and help to create an image befitting the digital age.
It’s when you want to expand your business then that you have this choice. For adding a quick way for customers to order your goods and services – do you create another website? Or do you add an app? If you want to allow your existing clients to log in and view their accounts with you on the go, do you do that by adding those features to your website? Or by adding an app?If you are going to do both in each case, which should take priority?
Pros and Cons
Apps and websites have many similarities, but they also have many differences giving them distinct pros and cons. An app for instance can be accessed offline – so if you want to provide supplementary information that your customers can use on the move then an app is almost certainly going to be the best option.
An additional benefits of apps is that they are very intuitive to use and very touch friendly. This allows your users to access information more quickly than they could going online – they don’t even need to type in a URL. If you want to encourage users to access your online services and information as often as possible then, an app has benefits.
On the other hand though, apps don’t make it easy to input the same amount of data – they force you to use on-screen keyboards and you will find that touch screens are far less precise than using a mouse. If your users need to create profiles or enter large amounts of data then, you should at least offer a website option as well so that they can work in higher volume.
Another downside of apps is that they do limit your market somewhat. If you want to make your app available to all smartphone users, then you need to create at least three versions (iOS, Android and Windows Phone), and even then the elderly population will probably not be able to access it. If you are providing an additional service and your market is mostly youthful and tech savvy then this won’t be a problem. If however you are creating a crucial function for your business, it becomes very important to at least provide other options.
This guest post is by Justin Thorin; he is a web developer for Business Media and he is a technology enthusiast. When he is not busy developing e-commerce websites for clients, he likes to spend time with his family and friends.