When Retailers Need to Choose Between Mobile Apps and Mobile Web
When Retailers Need to Choose Between Mobile Apps and Mobile Web

Mobile-only internet users have reportedly surpassed desktop-only internet users in numbers. Not only this, but app usage has seemingly surpassed desktop usage as well. This is particularly of interest to retailers, where multi-platform use is growing significantly more when compared to other verticals. Mobile app development Dubai has seen a considerable rise in business’ demands for mobile applications. 

With Google’s Mobilegeddon emphasizing the importance of mobile, businesses are left with a question of choosing between a mobile application and a mobile website. Both comes with a lot of benefits. Let’s analyze each for starters.

Mobile Applications

Mobile applications play a key role in transforming retail businesses unlike any other. It’s estimated that, by 2020, mobile commerce will make up close to 50% of total e-commerce worth roughly $300 billion in sales. The retail mobile app market is thriving, and businesses have started investing more in formulating mobile app marketing strategies.

Retail mobile app benefits include:

Richer customer experience - Customer experience always matters, and one of the main purposes of mobile applications is to improve customer experience. In addition, the apps help in creating a brand awareness, and can offer features that isn’t possible with other mediums. Personalized shopping experiences, special offers and other customer engagement options via push notifications, mobile payments etc. are just a few of the things apps are capable of.

Maintain customer loyalty – In addition to facilitating mobile payment options, mobile apps can also be used to reward loyal customers. Loyalty programs can be personalized based on customer shopping patterns, physical store locations, interests and more.

Analytics – To cater to the customers the way they would like it requires a deep understanding of the customers themselves. This data and the context are invaluable for a business that’s developing an app. Mobile apps can provide that data better than any other medium, enabling businesses to make better data-driven decisions in the future consequently improving customers’ shopping experiences and increasing sales and revenue.

Mobile web

As mentioned earlier, mobile commerce takes up almost half of the total e-commerce traffic. With mobile devices being that much important, a mobile-optimized website is a must-have.

The benefits of such a website include:

Better customer experience - Mobile of course drives more activity than desktop. However, customers expect a multi-channel experience they can access across multiple devices. With just mobile apps and without mobile-friendly websites, retailers are missing out on a lot of potential customers, say about 50% of the e-commerce market. 

Broader customer base – Broader customer base includes customers who aren’t necessarily loyal to a business, or neither interested in the loyalty programs and rewards. They won’t be consistently purchasing from a single brand. Customers like that may not bother to install mobile applications in their mobile devices for purchases. So with an app and a website, the business will be reaching out to these types of customers as well, making their path to purchase easier and quicker. 

Cost-effective – Starting a business with a mobile-optimized website is a great idea. A responsive website allows users to access it from all types of devices. The business won’t have to create separate websites optimized for those devices. Responsive websites are cost-effective for certain.

Search engine optimization – Mobile-friendliness of websites have some influence over search engine rankings, if ‘Mobilegeddon’ is any indication. Google gives a pat on the back for websites that are optimized for mobile devices. A better search engine rank means greater brand visibility, traffic, and more sales. Mobile-friendly websites are now recommended by many search engine optimization experts. 


The point here is that customers will be using both mobile applications and mobile-friendly websites. Both have their places in the market and that’s why it’s not a matter of having one or the other. It’s about keeping customers engaged and loyal by making sure that the business has a robust mobile presence.