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9/18/2014 2:09:43 PM
A Responsive Website Or a Native App Question
App Developer Magazine
A Responsive Website Or a Native App Question

Marketing & Promotion

A Responsive Website Or a Native App Question

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stuart Parkerson Stuart Parkerson

Every day we host a number of articles and news announcements about the mobile app industry. Sometimes what gets lost in the huge amount of information available is that each business is unique in its goals for communicating with its various constituencies, both externally with its customers and internally with employees.

So when deciding on whether your business should focus on a mobile enhanced website or on launching mobile apps in the app stores, you need to look internally to your available resources and specific goals. Sounds simple, but on a deeper level its really quite complicated. 

One of the benefits of today’s robust mobile industry is the growth of tools and services available to companies, as well as a commonality within business sectors that means that companies don’t have to reinvent the wheel. So no matter what your mobile strategy, your company has a large head start on the process with currently available resources.

Getting back to the mobile website or app dilemma, in a perfect world of unlimited assets, companies would have both a robust responsive website and a program of well crafted apps in the major app markets. The reality for many companies is that it is difficult to do both really well.

So how do you go about determining a strategy? As Phunware’s Emily Reynolds notes in her article Mobile Website vs. Mobile App: Which Is Right for You?, “You shouldn’t create an app just because everyone else has one. You should create an app because it’s a groundbreaking opportunity to turn customers into devoted advocates.”

And its true, consumers engage and respond differently with mobile apps than with websites. It’s just a different relationship. Once an app is downloaded to a user’s device, in their view, it now belongs to them. You can never get that type of mental connection with a bookmarked website.

User expectations for websites are much different than with mobile apps, and that’s not a bad thing. There is a mentality that users have when accessing websites gained from years of surfing the web before they ever heard the word smartphone. They know that accessing a website is quick, easy, and offers no long term commitment. Users can hop on a site, get what they need, and hop out. This lack of commitment, which might be seen as a weakness for websites, is also a strength, as the barrier to access is virtually zero, where with a mobile app, it takes work to download and engage.

So the truth is you need both a responsive website and mobile apps. But how do you approach each? Referring back to Emily Reynolds article, she has provided a checklist of a number of considerations to keep in mind. You can check it out for yourself on the Phunware website.

Read more: http://www.phunware.com/mobile-solutions/mobile-we...

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