The mobile web vs. native apps debate continues to rise along with the mobile surge. The latest news on mobile apps in the marketplace recently made headlines. Adeven, a German mobile analytics company, claimed that 60% of mobile apps never get downloaded due to the huge amount of apps in the App Store. This makes it really tough for small and independent app publishers to be discovered because big companies are dominating the top of the lists. If apps don’t make it to the top listings, the small players will find it difficult to get their applications noticed by anyone in the App Store. At the same time the big app publishers are spending millions of dollars to get to the top 25 list. Penetration in the App store is very tough at this point.
So, the question is, where does your business go from here, and should you offer your clients mobile websites or native apps?
If you’re planning to establish a mobile presence for your clients business to reach the widest possible audience, a mobile website is the best way to go. Mobile website users can instantly access content through a mobile web browser across a range of mobile devices. Updating your content and design is easy because changes are immediately visible. Mobile websites are also quick to find in mobile search results and through industry specific directories, not to mention anyone who is trying to access your clients site directly via URL will get redirected to the mobile website. The mobile website’s URL can be shared via a simple link or text message so anyone with a smartphone is free to access the page any time.
Investing in a mobile website is much less expensive and less time consuming than developing a native app that requires multiple versions for different platforms. Having a mobile website provides a better value proposition for local business owners as consumers are not searching the app store for local business, they are searching using the mobile web or linking to a business’s website from one of the many social networks.
The cost of building an app is high due to on-going upgrades and development. Pricing for a mobile website is much more affordable so you get an optimal return on investment over time.
With the huge amount of apps competing for user’s attention, the likelihood of being discovered by users and getting downloaded is quite remote. This unfortunate fact is backed by studies made by Adeven when they measured the statistics on apps download.
If you’re still not convinced over the issue of which option is better, think again and read Adeven’s report on why 60% of apps never get downloaded.