Mobile App vs Mobile Website: Which one should you select?

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By: Manish Shewaramani

Mobile App vs Mobile Website: Which one should you select?

2019 has turned the tech world into a completely mobile era. Today, people use more of their smartphones for everything. With the rise of Android and iPhone mobile devices, internet usage has taken the next level.

With everything going mobile, businesses have also gone mobile. It means that they have started to market their brands over the web through websites and mobile applications. With people searching on the internet for various purposes, website and mobile app development came into existence. Eventually, websites also have their mobile versions.

According to Statista Research Department, “This statistic gives information on the mobile phone internet penetration worldwide from 2014 to 2019. In 2015, 52.7 percent of the global mobile phone population accessed the internet from their mobile phone. This figure is expected to grow to 61.2 percent in 2018.”

Thus, the rise of mobile apps and mobile websites made it easier for smartphone users to accomplish their several tasks more conveniently.

Mobile Apps & Mobile Websites: Definitions

Mobile Apps:

A mobile app is a software program installed on a mobile device or a smartphone that you can access via the internet. Mobile applications, when downloaded on a mobile device, can use its native features. It helps developers to build better, more intuitive, and faster user experiences for consumers.

Mobile Websites:

A mobile website is similar to any other website with the difference that it is specifically built to optimize and scale mobile devices. It means they act as websites for smartphones. Primary features of a mobile website include smaller fonts, fewer page elements, and less white space when you compare it with a desktop version.

statista research department

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites: Usage

According to the Pew Research Center, today, 81% of Americans have their smartphones and 50% have tablets. All these mobile devices boost 71% of the country’s digital traffic. If we look at the data of other countries, then Mexico has its 75% internet usage on mobile devices, 71% in China, and 67% in Spain.

As we know that mobile applications have remarkably taken a rise in the tech market, a majority of mobile users spend their mobile time on applications than browsing the rest of the internet. Moreover, several business websites now have apps that provide the same functionality as sites. Therefore, users only have to download a particular app to have access to their specific needs.

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites: User Preferences

Have you ever wondered, why customers spend more time within apps? It is because they prefer apps over mobile sites due to improved user experience, increased speed, additional features, and special offers.

Retail and E-Commerce businesses have launched more applications than other businesses after the launch of news-apps. According to Statista, mobile apps are expected to generate $189 billion in revenue by 2020.

Moreover, 21% of Millenials open an app 50+ times a day. Also, mobile apps offer 57% of all digital media usage, and the average smartphone user uses 30 applications each month.

Mobile Apps or Mobile Websites: Conversions

How do apps work compared to other channels within E-Commerce? According to a report by Criteo, mobile apps close the deal with customers as people view 4.2 times more products per session within apps, when compared to mobile sites.

Moreover, apps push more people down the purchase funnel, thereby resulting in 3 times higher conversion rates compared to mobile sites. Mobile apps result in 1.5 times more conversions per session than desktop as well.

Why do applications function better than mobile sites? Shopping cart abandonment rates on mobile sites are quite higher than they are on desktop. One of the reasons is that consumers get annoyed and drop their shopping cart when they have to provide their credentials at the time of checkout. Mobile apps, on the other hand, save user data.

Mobile Apps & Mobile Website Trends for 2019 (and Beyond)

M-Commerce has taken a significant rise with the increased use of mobile apps and various smartphones. It drives 50% of E-Commerce in developed countries. By 2021, mobile devices will generate a revenue of $152 billion, which will come to almost 24% of the total online sales.

Additionally, it is too early to predict or declare the end of mobile-optimized websites. It is because most users still find stores by using their browser. Therefore, mobile websites or excellent mobile apps will continue to be an essential asset for businesses in the future, even with the above in mind.

Let us now take a look at the features of mobile apps and mobile websites.

Main Features of Mobile Apps

1. Appropriate Formats for Interactive Software Development

If your software consists of user interactive features, then implementing it on a website will not be a wise decision. Instead, integrating it into a mobile app will be best suitable. You can use it for the development of game apps and others, where the functionality requires immediate responses to user interactions. It is one of the most crucial benefits of mobile apps over mobile websites.

2. Extensive Abilities to use Special Capabilities on User Devices

People have increased the usage of different mobile apps, and today, various kinds of apps are available on the app store. You can get an app for almost everything. For example, if you want to improve your user experience in clicking pictures, then you can get a relevant app on your mobile device.
The IT field is continually advancing, and it is possible to create websites that can provide video communication between remote users. However, the relevant site may not give the expected performance, while mobile apps can enhance the user experience effectively.

3. Favorable Conditions for Notifications

Traditional emails do not work when you have to communicate with your users occasionally. It is because most of the bulk emails go to the spam, and users do not bother to even open them.
With mobile apps, it becomes effective to notify users for some significant information via push notifications. It enhances communication with your valuable customers without the need to worry about whether they got the information or not.

4. Potential to Function Offline

However effectively a website can function, it will never be able to work without an internet connection. On the other hand, a mobile app is an influential choice if your software idea emphasizes functionality that can also be available offline.

5. Preferable Choice for Brand Promotion

If your business holds a reputable position on the market, then having a mobile app is an excellent way to further promote your brand and expand your target audience.
Marketing via a mobile app indicates the high status of a business brand and offers more capabilities for developing unique features & functionality. For example, IKEA has launched its application that is based on Augmented Reality to help potential clients to try the products in their homes.

Main Features of Mobile Websites

1. Compatible with any existing OS & Screen Resolution

One of the benefits and unique characteristics of a mobile website is that it is supported by all smartphones and tablets, regardless of screen resolution and OS. It indicates that your target audience can be diverse and varied because a user can visit your site with a single click on the link required.
On the other hand, when it comes to apps, the user has to download it from the app store to access its functionality. Thus, little time and effort are spent on the introduction to the website.

2. Simple Development

Developing a website is relatively simple. There are paid or free options available that offer readymade templates for creating modern sites on the internet. Skills in programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and XML are required, which are quite easy to learn. For developers, it becomes easier to build a mobile website than creating a mobile app.

3. Easily Updated

When compared to mobile apps, mobile websites are easier to update. You need to spend additional time for getting the approval by the relevant platform’s marketplace to update a mobile app. Moreover, after you update it, the user has to download it all over again from the app store.
On the other hand, a website is automatically available and refreshed immediately after the update, which is a critical benefit over the app solution.

4. Websites can Exist Forever

Websites can exist forever except in a circumstance where you do not pay for domain and hosting renewals. When we talk about dedicated apps, they are automatically deleted from the marketplace if they are unused for a period set by the App Store/Google Play terms, which is normally, 30 days.

5. Comparatively Cheaper to Develop

It costs less to develop a website when compared to building a mobile app. The main reason for the vast difference in the development cost of both of these is that you do not need to create separate versions for Android and iOS. Moreover, you need to pay for registration in the App Store or Google Play.

6. Easily Optimized in Search Engines

A website, when effectively optimized, will be located on the first pages of all popular search engines when relevant keywords are entered. It is useful to those users, who are directly interested in your specific company.

When we talk about mobile apps in this relevance, users search them in the frame of their respective marketplace. Also, their position in search engines directly depends on user ratings, complicates their promotion a little.

7. Website Support is Easier & Cheaper than App Support

It is essential to make timely investments to make your software idea exist over a continuous period of time. In concerns of testing, administration, compatibility assurance, and updating, mobile websites are worth more than mobile apps.


Today, every business promotes its brand over the web through either mobile apps or mobile websites. However, from the discussion above, we can see that the significance of mobile apps weighs far more than mobile websites.

However, websites still exist and have their unique significance in the tech market. It is all dependent on how you want to promote your brand to your targeted audience.

If you are planning to develop a responsive software that will integrate user devices’ resources to the full extent and develop a personal interface with unique functionality, the mobile app is the best fit for you.

If you have a software idea, then Credencys will help you create a robust mobile website or mobile app that fulfills your business requirements. Our team of dedicated iPhone and Android app developers provides unconditional support at every stage of development until we hand you over your final software.

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