Which mobile customer experience should companies offer to react to these changes? A recent study “Mobile Website, App or Both?: How Channel Choices Are Made” from eMarketer discusses this issue.
Mobile app or mobile website?
Companies have options to offer a native mobile app, a mobile website, or even both of them. Each of these channels has different strengths and weaknesses.
In sum, apps bring an overall better user experience and presence on user’s devices. Websites are easier to discover, strengthen search results, and engage users through easier social sharing.
What companies should do
Companies should choose their mobile strategy with their business objectives in mind. If they already have website development resources in place, relying on these resources to build a mobile website is an efficient strategy.
Mobile channels come with different strengths and weaknesses, and the right choice depends on a company’s goals.
However, this could change in the future as mobile websites become more and more important.
With the latest Android update Google has moved the user experience of mobile websites closer to native apps by making both websites and apps similarly accessible in the app switcher. This indicates mobile websites might gain traction.
Developing a mobile website makes it possible to cover a variety of devices and, ultimately, both Android and iOS with one shot. Contrast this with native apps that need to be tweaked for phone and tablet devices and fundamentally differ for Android and iOS.
In the end, companies should evaluate the short- and long-term consequences of their mobile strategy. Oftentimes the business potential on mobile far outweighs any of the investments and even justifies a hybrid mobile app and website strategy.