According to NASDAQ: SCOR, the amount of people using smartphones in the United States has grown to 58% of total mobile phone users during the first quarter of 2013, a nine-percent growth compared to the preceding quarter. Furthermore, about 29% of smartphone users shop online, a number that is likely to grow. (Source: Forbes, 8 April 2013).
This trend underlines the importance of mobile compatible applications for businesses. But what should you choose – a mobile app or mobile website? This article discusses the issue with a focus on automobile dealership businesses.
Before discussing which one is better, let us see the key differences between a mobile website and an app.
Mobile website: It is very similar to a regular website, except for the fact that the site is optimized for smart phones and other hand held devices. Just like regular websites, these websites will have text, images, videos, etc.
Mobile app: It is just a mobile compatible application that must be downloaded and installed on mobile devices to operate. Few of them are web-enabled, the others are not. Some will have content that can be accessed without Internet connection. For instance, an app designed for your auto dealership includes appointment scheduling, product searches, special offers, etc.
Comparison of features
Availability and accessibility: Compared to a mobile app, a website can easily be accessed by using a browser. On the other hand, an app needs to be downloaded and installed on the device. In addition, a website is easy to access across multiple platforms, whereas an app is not.
Compatibility: The same mobile website can be used by all the mobile users since it is compatible with any device. In contrast, an app can only function on specific devices.
Reach: Compared to a mobile app, mobile websites have wider reach because they are easily accessible on all platforms through a browser. Mobile websites are available to all users who are looking for businesses like yours.
Ease in sharing: Multiple groups such as users and publishers can share a mobile website. By having an URL, publishers can give access to their mobile websites from their website, blog, article or a press release. As opposed to this, a mobile app cannot be shared.
Personalization: A mobile app helps your business if you are planning to offer your customers a personalized application. Once downloaded, an app can be personalized based on the customer’s preferences.
Cost: Mobile websites are cost-effective when compared to building a mobile app for different mobile platforms. Further, websites are also time-effective. It takes less time to develop them and to market them compared to apps.
What would be apt for your auto dealership?
Mobile websites and mobile apps each have their own pros and cons. This can make it difficult when deciding which one to choose for your auto dealership business. It depends entirely on you and the kind of mobile presence you are looking for your dealership.
If your goal is to be marketing-driven and if you want to establish a broader mobile presence with a focus on search engines then you should go with a mobile website. If you want an interactive engagement with the users and want to provide them with an application that helps them stay in touch with your dealership, then an app would be the sensible choice.
However, if you really want to establish a strong mobile presence, both of them will help you in their own way. Going for a mobile app without a mobile website doesn’t make sense. But after having a website you can extend your services with a functional mobile app.