Website, App, or both? How to choose what’s best for your business
It’s a question that many companies face, and the answer depends on a few different factors.
Ever since the arrival of the smartphone, the question of whether apps will take over the digital landscape has been a hot topic among designers, marketers and business owners from practically every sector of the economy.
While some companies with large budgets can just opt for both, some smaller firms might feel forced to make the choice between one or the other.
While smartphone usage has risen astronomically – and now outstrips desktop usage – does that automatically mean that websites are a thing of the past, and that the future is definitely all about apps?
The truth is far from simple. And to get to the right answer for you and your business or objectives, you need to ask a number of other questions first.
Below, we’ll outline the three most important:
1. What does your business offer?
This is an important point to consider deeply.
While it’s undoubtedly obvious to you what your business or company deals in – the products and services that are its ‘bread and butter’ – it is often useful to take a step back and consider how those products and services actually appear and are perceived by your customers.
In simple terms, do you want your customers to:
- a) customize their purchases on your platform, or
- b) just be able to just see what you offer?
If the answer is a – an app will undoubtedly offer more opportunities for you to realize customization and personalization for your customers.
Websites can be used for more generic and static product or service listings.
2. What does your business want to offer?
This question has more to do with flexibility.
A website might be a great place to start if you are still yet to fully develop all of your ideas as a business, as it is more of a dynamic and flexible platform that can be built on ‘as you grow’.
If, however, you feel like you have reached a certain level of maturity and have found your stride with your inventory and sectors, an app can be a great way to systematize your sales, personalize your interactions with customers and build brand loyalty, while also establishing market authority.
3. What kind of interaction do you want with your users?
Do you want your users, customers or potential customers to have an easy access to viewing what you offer? Or do you want to have more of a conversational, interactive relationship with them through your platform?
Websites are a great solution for presenting your credentials, services and products, but in terms of forming a more permanent bond with users through personalization, apps normally take the cake.
However, an important point to remember is that if you are going to convince users to download your app and keep it on their smartphone, you should be able to offer something to them, whether it’s content, discounts or other incentives.
Getting someone to visit a website can be a lot easier than getting them to download an app, if no incentives are on offer.
Ultimately, a website is a ‘benchmark’, or absolutely necessity for most companies these days.
Apps offer a range of benefits that make them superior to websites, but if the products offered by your company are relatively ‘static’ – as in, they are not so heavily customizable, then a website can usually suffice, at least for the initial stages of your business journey.