With more and more people using their mobiles to browse the web, we take a look at what is the best option for your business; a responsively designed website or a native mobile app.

Last year nearly 18% of internet browsing was done via mobiles, which was more than a 6% rise on the previous year. With this in mind it’s never been more important to provide users with a great mobile experience whatever route you decide to go down.

 So, let’s have a brief look at the two different routes and which option is likely to provide the best return on investment.

 Responsive websites

A responsive website will automatically scale to fit different screen widths and devices. This is achieved by reflowing content such as navigation, copy and images to achieve the same level of user experience regardless of what device you’re using.

  • Can be updated easily and quickly
  • Can be viewed on any device with an internet connection and is compatible with many different browsers
  • Accessible right away via the internet
  • Amount of information can sometimes impede on usability
  • No costs associated with updating if used with content management systems
  • Reduces need to duplicate content between website and app, aiding search engine optimization (SEO)

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps work as a separate entity to your current website which needs to be downloaded from the internet first before you can use it. Apps are also optimised to provide great user experience on mobile too and can in many ways be better as content can be scaled back to provide the user with only the information they really need.

  • Can only be used once its been downloaded
  • Apps can only be viewed on mobile devices so you’d need a responsive website for tablets, laptops and computers
  • Have very short lifespans, app usage declines rapidly after the first month of use
  • Only successful if it serves a useful purpose
  • Average app session only lasts 1 minute

As an overview, if you want a mobile friendly experience that is easy on the wallet, easy to update and gives better access, then a responsive website is probably the best option for you and your business. Apps are perfect if you have a great idea or game concept, something unique that will offer users something that can’t be achieved with a responsive website, but be warned not to ask for an app just for the sake of it.

Cornerstone DM