Most major companies and online businesses have an app. It seems that mobile apps offer better usability for mobile users. However, this is beginning to change. As more and more Internet users access the web through mobile devices it is expected that developing mobile websites will soon become a superior strategy.
The first question considered by most companies when developing a mobile strategy is whether or not to pursue mobile options. Some companies may never attract mobile users; these companies would do best in making additional investments to standard sites for the time being. Of course, it is anticipated that mobile use will increase exponentially in the future. When this does occur, a mobile strategy will be a must have for every company.
Mobile Apps May Be The Best Investment, For Now
Mobile apps appear to be the best approach at present if developing one is an affordable option. Multiple usability studies indicate that mobile users prefer using apps because apps are easier to use. The jury is in apps beat mobile sites hands down.
The only reason that mobile applications are easier to use that mobile optimized websites is because there is limited optimization available in mobile website design. Apps are capable of targeting the specific limitations and abilities of various devices better that websites viewed in mobile browsers.
Native applications will always be superior for any type of platform; this includes pcs. However, since pcs are powerful, web based applications are acceptable for most routine tasks. Mobile devices can only offer a limited user experience. The tiny screens, slower connectivity, and difficulty in interactions are a huge hurdle for most mobile device users.
Apps also offer a better financial return, especially for businesses. Various apps stores offer a sort of micro-payment system enabling developers and companies to collect money from users. This is slightly more difficult through web based options.
Mobile Websites are the Strategy of the Future
It is expected that the cost-benefit ratio for mobile sites vs. apps will change rapidly in favor of mobile website development, especially as mobile devices continue to advance in design and capabilities. As devices become more sophisticated, it is likely that apps will become more expensive to develop. There will be more platforms to support.
Mobile websites will retain an advantage against apps. Websites can be optimized for use across platforms more easily. HTML5 is expected to make this much easier. Many publishers are already using HTML 5 to achieve mobile site designs that rival those offered by mobile applications. It appears that mobile website development is on the verge of becoming extremely advanced.
There is a significant advantage offered by mobile websites. There are fewer restrictions in publishing online than there are using traditional app marketplaces. As web based user interfaces continue to develop the advantages of using a mobile website will increase.
Of course, one of the best advantages offered by mobile websites is that mobile websites integrate better with the Internet. It is far easier to link to a mobile website than it is to link to third party applications.
When Will Strategy Shifts Occur?
No one knows for sure when companies should begin changing strategies. Obviously, the shift is close; however, the time hasn’t come. Most advances have happened rapidly. Companies that fare best are the ones who have planned for the future. The best strategy a company can have is being prepared to implement both strategies.