With smartphones becoming more and more affordable, having a strong online presence has become a must for companies. The tech-savvy millennial generation, (the 18-34 age demographic), has increasingly relied on mobile websites and applications in their consumer decision-making process. Their focus is research-based as their choices derive heavily from information on companies, their range of products and services, and posted peer reviews. This new generation of ‘smart shoppers’ wants to be able to connect with purpose and expect limitless choices in programming at the touch of a button.
One of the first considerations when making the JUMP to mobile media is whether to develop a mobile application for users to download (app), build a mobile website or to create both. In some cases they may seem like they are the same thing. Choosing between the two depends on many factors: budget, demographic, features and purpose. Let’s look at both architectures in more detail.
A mobile application, more commonly known as an ‘app’, is software written specifically for a mobile platform, (i.e. iOS, Android, Blackberry), that performs a function (i.e. music player, location finder, videogame, and so forth). Mobile applications are downloaded on device platforms via the Apple App Store, Android Marketplace and Blackberry World.
Typically most businesses will start off by developing a mobile website to initiate their mobile presence.
As you can see, both architectures have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s really dependent on the desired purpose of the platform and the features that are required. As technologies continue to push forward the line between the two architectures will start to blur, making this decision unnecessary altogether. Until that time though, companies will need to either choose the correct platform or take the time to develop both. No matter which route is decided upon, it is important to create a mobile platform that will connect with users and elevate their association towards the company.