Mobile Site vs. Mobile App: Which is Better and Why the Success of Your E-Commerce Store Depends on it

When e-commerce first began to take off in the mid-to-late 90’s, people were scared to say the least. Fear of fraud, scam, and lost shipping items kept people away for years.

Then one-day society took a leap of faith. In the 2000’s, e-commerce started to rise as a premiere industry, and now more and more people shop online than ever before. Although many predicted e-commerce would be a “fad”, and the fall of the internet and laptops would cause a collapse in the industry, e-commerce has now expanded.

If you run an e-commerce business, you have a website because if you didn’t, it wouldn’t really be e-commerce.

However, what about a mobile site or mobile application?

Most companies generate more user activity and sales via mobile applications now than traditional websites or mobile sites. In fact, websites may be going out of style along with laptops.

Determining whether your business should just have a website/mobile site or expand their business by hiring a mobile app development company to build a mobile application for them can be difficult, but here are a few simple marketing strategies to consider when contemplating your decision.

Mobile Site vs. Mobile App

 

Mobile Site vs. Mobile App

Know your business model 

What are you selling, who are you selling it to, and why do you need mobile exposure? Answering these questions will most likely answer any questions in regards to mobile e-commerce.

E-commerce sites that are selling discounted offers to local businesses using GPS (Groupon type e-commerce companies) or selling quick purchase items, a mobile application should be used. It is cleaner, easier to navigate, and can store credit card information through Square swiping (credit card transaction tech company).

If your customer market or segment is mostly adolescents and young adults, you may want to invest in a mobile application platform because they expect it as the “norm.”

Younger generations desire user experience, friendly designs, and quick or simple instructions. Mobile sites are mostly just smaller replicas of the company’s e-commerce website on a laptop and can become quite difficult to navigate.

On the other hand, if your business requires a phone call or consultation with customer service prior to purchasing, a mobile application may not be necessary.

Understand the scope of your business and the complexity of your current website page navigation effectiveness to determine the usefulness.

Check this video: Mobile Site vs Web App

Marketing Strategy & Design 

In today’s e-commerce market, businesses must face the facts, people want the best and expect the best. An excellent way to put this into perspective is by comparing the tech industry to the movie industry.

Movies with Tom Cruise and $200 million budgets are fashionable, and everyone wants tickets to the theater, paying $16.00 a pop on IMAX 3D editions of the films. On the contrary, no one goes to see the artistic drama-love story with two unknown actors and a $200,000 budget.

The tech industry works in exactly the same way. You are competing with Apple and thousands of developers across the world with more money and experience. A mobile application linked to your e-commerce business is just cleaner and has the potential to attract a ton of customers.

Not only will a mobile application help your current customer’s purchasing experience, but if your design, product, and app cover are good enough, you may become a sensation overnight. Mobile apps also offer a faster point of sale, which is always good for business.

Perception of Safety 

 When a customer downloads an app from the App Store on iPhone or App Marketplace on an Android, they perceive security and safety. This reason alone is motivation for an application creation.

Mobile sites run on phone or tablet browsers, which require accessing the internet and inserting confidential information while attempting to fit the browser screen to your phone or tablet screen. It is a nightmare, and most customers will just give up.

On the other hand, people feel safe “downloading” apps because there is an understanding of ownership and control – even though the app is connected to the same internet as the mobile site.

Particularly if you run an e-commerce business, mobile apps will generate more sales and overall interest than mobile sites – I heavily recommend mobile apps for frequent transaction-based companies that work at the margins.

About the author
Matthew Hall is an entrepreneur who runs his own small ecommerce site. He tries to share what he learns through writing as a way to supplement his income while building up the enterprise. He recommends making sure that you have a solid platform to market from, a prime example of an ecommerce platform being FastSpring.com. You can find more about Matt by visiting his Google+.
Image Credits:Flickr

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks Matthew (and Kritika). There are easy and affordable ways to create a mobile commerce app these days. We feel it’s important to have both a mobile site and an app to work together. A mobile site can earn respect from a customer and create a sense of loyalty that will encourage them to get the app. The app allows merchants to engage in a more meaningful way with loyal and repeat customers (80% of mobile commerce app users have push notifications enabled). Thanks again for some great thoughts!

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  2. Perception of security and safety is important when it comes to determining whether an e-commerce should run on a mobile site or with a mobile app.

    I completely agree with observations made about what choice to make in this post.

    Yes, understanding your business model and knowing what works best would be very significant! This singular strategy can go a long way to help define the most effective convertible design suitable for the e-commerce website

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  3. Hello Kritika,

    I really know what you are trying to say about the e-commerce beginning phase. I remember my Mom’s reaction on it. She was absolutely reluctant to be a part of it. Naturally it is quite understandable that given the security over the internet was a definite matter of concern.

    But things have changed now. E-commerce has proven to shown a wide array of opportunities. On the whole it was quite an informative article, Kritika. Readers are surely going to love it. Have a good day !!

    Regards,
    Sanjay…

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