Obviously, mobile marketing is very important nowadays. To date, there are two areas of technical implementation of mobile projects: a mobile application and a mobile site. Therefore a question arise for a business that has decided to expand the sphere of influence on mobile phone users: to develop a mobile website or a mobile app?
There is no a precise answer to your question as everything depends on your needs. We have prepared a short comparison which can be used as a guide for such a decision.
|Mobile Site||Mobile app|
|Compatibility||Mobile version of the website looks the same view in browsers of any mobile device.||Several apps should be developed for different platforms.|
|Audience||All mobile devices with Internet access.||Only smartphones and tablets.|
|The cost of entry to the market||Free.||Developer license to put an app at the AppStore, Android market, etc|
|Ease of use||Does not require download and installation.||Required to download and install the application onto your smartphone.|
|Competition||Competition among sites ranking. To show in top results SEO tools are used.||Competition among AppStore, Android market, Ovi store publishers. Resources are required to display the application in the top.|
|Access the phone functionality||Access to a limited set of phone functions.||Almost full access to the phone functions. (Address Book, GPS …)|
|Ability to use offline||Not supported by all the phones.||Yes.|
|Icon on the screen||Yes. (Actually a tab in browser).||Yes.|
|Support and updates||It is easy to update, maintain and fix bugs “on the fly”||It is difficult to maintain and control the application after it is downloaded to a mobile devices. Bugs will be fixed until the next version.|
|Graphics Support||Poor support of “heavy images.”||Yes.|
|Lifecycle||Not limited||On average, most free apps live up to 30 days. Then, the interest goes down. (But still there are exceptions from the rules)|
|Interaction with the user||Average||Great|
|Comfort with regular use||Average||Well suited for regular use|
|Personalization||Average. Mobile site is more focused on service rather than on the user.||Good. Application is aimed at the individual user rather than mobile site.|
However, not every business needs to develop a mobile site or a mobile application.It is important only if your target audience are active mobile users. However, it is worth to admit that more than 25 percent of users visit sites from their mobile devices. And, as experts predict, the percentage of those users will only grow increasingly biting a large piece of non-mobile visits.