Life was difficult when the buyers went in search of the seller to satisfy their requirements. Today, it is not the same situation. A simple click on your mobile makes everything easy.
In recent years, all of us have become dependent on the Internet for everything. As Internet penetration and accessibility increase, more people benefit from major online services, including e-commerce. Covid had also completely changed the business life-cycle and made it easier to reach globally.
In our current digital age, a marketing strategy is complete with a digital presence. Deciding where your business presence should be according to your target audience is a significant decision.
Websites are a set of web pages with static information (a mix of text and other media such as images, audio, video, etc.) that users can pursue at their leisure in their web browser of preference.
Mobile applications are software that users install on their mobile devices and serve a particular purpose. These are known for being extremely dynamic and allowing user interaction to change the way they work.
The first question to be answered is who is your target audience, are they a larger audience or a specific audience? Although a definitive answer is difficult, the right one is determined by business needs and the target audience.
Why a Website?
- Reach a larger audience – anyone can access and does not require any specifications
- Compatibility – can access from any device with an internet connection
- Discoverability – acts as a direct source of search engine
- Detailed information – gives a complete layout explaining who and why the business exits and how the business is going to satisfy the requirements
- Support and Maintenance – easier to develop features and interactive design and does not require different versions for each operating system
Why a Mobile Application (App)?
- Convenience – a tailor-made platform offering a better user experience
- Notifications – acts as creating awareness and sharing information rapidly with its audience. Ex – notifying customers regarding offers, discounts, free services, new products/services to be launched, etc.
- Offline access – provides access to content and features without an internet connection
Key functions to be identified:
- Access – First thing to consider is who is your target audience and which would be preferable from the audience’s point of view. Websites are the better choice if you want your audience to access you from anywhere. If you have a specific target audience that is limited compared to website users, an app is the best choice as it offers an intuitive experience.
- Functionality and Connectivity – If you want to look out for the audience’s GPS, SMS, and QR code reader capabilities then a Mobile app is the best. If your solution to function requires a strong internet connection, then the Website is out of the question.
- Maintenance and updates – Mobile apps require additional maintenance and regular updates ensuring use of the latest version which is time-consuming. Websites are updated instantly without the need for users to download new versions.
- Development time and costs – The cost of building a mobile app or Website depends on a variety of factors and it is always good to choose a reputable Website and mobile app development company. Mobile apps should be engaging and hence requires customization according to the business plans and regular maintenance of versions which is expensive. The Website concentrates on a larger set of audience but has less ongoing maintenance and comparatively costs less. The significant factor to be considered while building a Website is to ensure the need for backend development and server infrastructure.
Facts that impact the timeline for developing a Website or Mobile app:
- Scope of the Project
- Development process
- The technology used to build the platform
- Requirement of customization
Questions to be answered to choose the right one for your business:
What is the purpose of the platform?
Every entrepreneur should have clarity about what the business is going to achieve with its online presence. Is it an interactive and engaging one, or is it enough to provide static information about your products or services?
Websites are suitable for providing information and Mobile apps provide a more immersive experience.
What is the planned timeline for development?
Setting a timeline for creating a Website or Mobile app is a decision considering business needs. A Website would be a better choice if required in a short period of time however creating a Mobile app consumes a lot of time as it involves customization such as UI and UX, design process, etc.
Will your targeted audience’s needs be satisfied?
The business should conduct a demographic study on its target audience to learn their preferences and habits regarding digital platforms.
What does not work at its best on these platforms?
- Compatibility Content and its features – Impacts the user experience and does not provide complete content resulting in a risk of losing users.
- URL Addresses & Updates -The websites sometimes fail to redirect to the correct page automatically. Although two URLs are difficult to manage and coordinate, responsive websites can mitigate this problem.
- Offline access – The Websites do not work with offline access.
- System Compatibility – Mobile apps might not fully support every feature in each operating system. Building a framework for each operating system is expensive and time-consuming.
- Accessibility – Mobile app needs to be downloaded and installed and, in most cases, it is free of charge for the users but some apps charge fees to cover updating costs. There is a major drawback here, as your target audience might not be willing to visit or install the app.
To answer all the questions and to come up with a decision, the above factors and key points will be a guide but there is a key fact hiding here. Yes, it is to Research!
Experiments fail, but they serve as a study guide in finding the right path for future endeavours. In a similar vein, entrepreneurs need to research what works better, where they take up their stand, and what platforms help them become a brand which results in bringing different solutions for all the probabilities and choosing the right platform to reach them.
It is never an easy sport for a business to have an online presence in this digital world. These platforms – Websites and Mobile apps act as the connecting dots to reach the targeted audience.