The influx of mobile technology has motivated individuals and enterprises to think about having a mobile presence. With a majority of Google Analytics reports showcasing the ever-growing online traffic coming in from the mobile devices, it is vital to offer an enhanced user experience to the mobile users. Now, the main question that arises here is whether you should opt for a responsive website or choose to build an engaging mobile app. This is exactly what I'll be looking into in this post.
Responsive Web Design
Well, a Responsive website is the one that has been specially optimized for the mobile phone browser. Such a website is accessible from anywhere and anytime, irrespective of the mobile platform, versions and gadgets. Responsive websites are completely optimized for rendering a remarkable user experience on smartphones and tablets on the basis of screen size and touchscreen functionality. Features such as compatibility across multiple platforms, broader accessibility and cost-effectiveness make responsive websites one of the preferable options for brand promotion.
Talking technically, a mobile app is a native program that is being specially designed for smartphones, tablets and other hand-held devices. Unlike a responsive website, wherein you need to enter the website URL, a mobile app can simply be downloaded from the app store and installed into the device. A mobile native app is built for a specific mobile operating system like iOS, Android, Windows Phone etc. That means, if a user wants to download a specific app, he/she needs to have his/her device running on the related mobile platform.
A Smart Comparison
Now let's compare between the Responsive Web Design and Mobile Apps, which helps you to take a right decision correctly.
As compared to responsive websites, the mobile apps are usually more effective in keeping the users engaged on your brand. With the “guided tour” style, mobile apps truly guarantee users sticking around for a longer duration of time. Although responsive website offers a welcoming experience for the users, bounce rate are typically higher in comparison to the mobile web apps.
Shoppers are quite impatient and tend to leave a website that makes them wait for a longer time. It is here that the significance of a mobile optimized website is realized to the fullest. Such a website can be directly opened using a browser in a suitable device. In contrast, app needs to be downloaded and installed on a device to buy things from it.
In case of a mobile optimized website, customer communication is usually one-sided. In other words, the customer visits the site, performs an action and leaves the site. On the other hand, in case of a mobile app, customer communication is two-sided and ongoing. Here, the app stays on your customers' device and you can reach them anytime, directly via the push notifications feature.
The Primary Purpose That Needs To Be Solved
Your decision of choosing between a responsive website and a mobile app purely depends on the kind of products and services you offer. In simple words, if you're offering something that is used on a regular basis, then developing a mobile app will help you reach out to a wider group of customers. On the contrary, if you want your website to be visited once or sporadically (as in case of an e-commerce website), then owning a responsive website will help you in achieving your business goals.
Innovative Ways Of Driving Business
In contrast to the responsive websites, mobile apps render a lot more ways of monetizing the content and aligning the same with the business goals. Since the mobile web apps are segregated into swipe-based pages, carded etc. you are offered a simple and organic technique of showcasing all your sponsored messages. Additionally, the IAB-style advertisements aid you in displaying the ads between multiple pages or in-stream. Hence, mobile apps comes loaded with opportunities of displaying highly interactive advertisements that can drive greater profits instantly.
Due Attention To The User Context
Using a responsive design is just about changing the website elements so that they can easily fit into a certain screen size. A major issue here is that the user context i.e. where the user is while reading the content is completely ignored. On the other side of the coin is a mobile app which is a lot more than just fitting the content to a specific screen size. A mobile app allows you to present your content in a way that it has been specifically designed to suit the context the user is in while going through the app content.
As a contemporary business owner, you can't ignore the fact that almost every customer owns a smart phone or tablet and uses the same making a choice among multiple products/services. Hence, it goes without saying that a combined approach of developing a responsive website and a mobile app will offer you higher benefits from a digital marketing perspective.