Mobile App vs. Mobile Website
Most businesses start by getting a mobile website, but then up-grade to a mobile app when it makes sense for their business. Mobile Websites are simpler, less expensive and quicker to have built than mobile apps but does solve the immediate issue of providing a “mobile friendly” experience for you potential clients looking for you or a business like yours online. The mobile website’s limitation, is that your customer must have an active internet connection to access it just like a normal website.
A mobile app on the other hand can be as simple as a mobile website or significantly more involved. A web app is most similar to a mobile website, but instead of requiring a live internet connection to operate, it loads onto the smart phone as software when the icon is selected. A native app can be built for android (2/3 of market), apple (1/3 of market) or often both. Just as a web app may cost double what a mobile website would cost, so a native app will often cost 2-3 times what a web app would cost.
What Types of Mobile Apps are There?
Native apps offer significantly more advanced features as well: built-in reservation requests, appointment reminders, calculators, planners, to do lists, note pads, interactive maps, food ordering, reviews left remotely, property listings that up-date remotely, push notifications (like a deluxe text), etc. For many businesses that already have many smart phone centric clients, these features are extremely valuable.
In addition to native mobile apps that we build for local businesses, we also build apps for remote training, memberships, information products, clubs, games and many other more unique scenarios. The use of mobile apps is all about getting your information into the hands of your clients wherever they may be and without the need for an active internet connection. You can up-date your app and communicate back and forth with them based on just a cell signal. Even when there is no cell signal, the app still functions on a local level, allowing them to access all the information and features, it just doesn’t allow the app to up-date or communicate.
How Does this Effect my Customers?
Dramatically. With 50%+ of the US having a smart phone and estimates of 80%+ by 2015, the race is on for small, medium and large businesses to reach this market first and stake their spot on the screen of your smart phone. The biggest companies have already taken this beachhead during 2011 and 2012, but the cost of mobile apps has dropped significantly during that time. The software that we use to build your app has also gone down in price and become significantly faster to build with. This is to your advantage right now, but based on where the software is now, it’s hard to imagine the process becoming much easier or faster, so the pricing is leveling out as we speak.
This is the time to up-grade your mobile website to a mobile app and start to win your digital real estate on your customers’ smart phones. Keep your mobile website for your non smart phone customers, but start moving those with smart phones over to your new mobile app before there are 10 or 20 times as many businesses fighting for their smart phone screen space. Just as you can use text marketing with your cell phone clients, use the push notification and other features of your new mobile app to keep communicating with people, get them coming back more often, bringing friends and earn their loyalty now while it’s less noisy in this space.
Call us today at 404-944-2949 to ask any questions you have and schedule a time we can meet and discuss your mobile marketing plans.