Which platform should companies invest in: Mobile site, web or native app?

What companies must know about mobile to better extract its potential

With the advent of the mobile market, economies are expanding at a rate faster than it can be accommodated. Mobile has brought in its wake a host of growth avenues for companies.

Before looking into the power of the mobile lets see what mobile has accomplished.

Let's take a look at some statistics that point towards the growing mobile world:

  • 27% of companies worldwide planned to implement location-based marketing in 2013 according to a report by Econsultancy
  • 25% of international media and marketing executives see mobile as the most disruptive force in their industry, informed AdMedia Partners
  • 48% use or would like to use a smartphone to shop while in-store or on the go confirms Cisco
  • The number of US mobile coupon users will rise from 12.3 million in 2010 to 53.2 million in 2014, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones, as stated by eMarketer

As stated by figures above that mobile-integration is almost inevitable for every form of business. The foremost way of mobile-migration is by creating a mobile site or a native app or a web app. Though each of these platforms has its own pros and cons what companies could do is to invest in an alternative most suitable for their business.

Let's analyse each of these 3 platforms individually:

Mobile site
Firms can build a single responsive site for all their business with the capability to run on multiple platforms. Else, they can choose to build a separate mobile site for their business. The latter approach can be quite cumbersome for web developers and designers.

Pros of having a mobile site:

  • A mobile site renders easy and quick access of information to its users
  • Offers efficiency and speed to users
  • Delivers customized experiences to users at all times
  • Generates more revenue with more action buttons
  • Enables payment transaction in a secure and easy way
  • The site is smart and intuitive which can detect the device it is being run on and adjusts itself accordingly
  • Offers clean and simple navigation with systematic scrolls and zooms at places most required
  • Allows faster download speed to users
  • Mobile sites can use QR Codes to bridge the gap between online and offline media
  • Mobile sites ar e a one-time investment thus offering a cost-effective solution even to small-business or start-ups

As most users like to shop from home while watching TV a mobile site is the best option to bank on this trend. It is vital for businesses to optimize business solutions and bring at the door-step of its customers.

Native app
A native app is created in the language of the creating system it will be used for. They are easy to install and function with however, they are an expensive option as they take a lot of time to develop and have to be adjusted for each operating system.

Pros of having a native app:

  • Native apps work faster than mobile web apps
  • They can interface with a device's features such as GPS, camera and so on
  • They provide function-specific performance
  • They offer consistent multi-device performance to its users
  • They use push technology to automatically update information for mobile users
  • They help to reduce data cost by rendering data synchronizations with a lot of back-end data sources

Native apps require a lot of backend maintenance work in order for it to function properly. Unless, the app is rendered useless for business requirements.

Mobile web app
Sites built using HTML/CSS are a cheaper and faster alternative to go mobile. The only problem with a mobile web app is that many users hardly care about updating their browsers until they get a new phone.

Pros of having a mobile web app:

  • They have a great cross-browser support
  • They are quick and easy to launch
  • It is designed specifically for the mobile and is thus better suited to work with it
  • It is easy to make modification or render updates on it
  • It offers a great platform for gaming services
  • It can perform complex functions such as calculation and maintaining charts, reports or calendars
  • It can work offline well in contrast to a mobile site

A mobile web app is a sure return on investment as it offers dynamic and integrated platform for performing a range of functions. They are designed to give a more personalized experience to users accessing it for regular usage.

To sum it up
Though there are a lot of structural differences between a web app, a mobile site and a native app; the user experiences offered by the two can make huge difference for brands to fulfill their goals.

Apps, no doubt, offer a bunch of commercial opportunities for companies but development and maintenance cost is something that firms must look into. The after-effects of implementing of any one of these options is a continuous process that requires due consideration.

Albert Vang works for PLAVEB, a Innovative Mobile Application Development Company in Los Angeles. He loves to research on mobile technology specifically on Custom Mobile Website Development & Design. He also enjoys reading biographies in his spare time.

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