Honestly they both carry equal importance. It goes without saying that our advice from there largely depends on the client in question. If their target is to attract new customers, then a responsive website would take preference. However, if maintaining existing customers is the primary goal, we would likely lean towards suggesting they develop a mobile app.
So let’s consider how these two worthy adversaries weigh in on some of the key components.
If attracting new customers is the main aim than a responsive website may be more attractive option. SEO opportunities and links will take potential customers directly to your site, whereas the marketing you employ for an app may not be directly connected and mostly centered on directing customers to an app store where they can choose to download it.
A responsive website is obtainable by all mobile users without the need to download, and this is particularly important for companies that are still growing their customer base. If your mobile site is nothing more than a link and instruction to download an app, it could turn off customers who have not heard of your company before – installing an app is a commitment and users need a good amount of knowledge.
If developing and maintaining loyalty of existing customers is where it’s for you, the native app is with its merits. The consumers make the choice to adopt your app and are therefore already engaged with your point, making them much more open to marketing communication and up selling.
The user may allow you a space on their mobile home-screen since they have used your service previously and had a good experience or perhaps you have a predominantly attractive feature that is only accessible via the app. Not to say that websites cannot collect data or personalize the consumer experience, but a downloaded app has less barriers to the user and requires less action.
Again, the native app champions from a User Experience (UX) point of view, largely due to the fact that rather than being built to get used to the mobile operating system, it is created specifically for it which provides numerous advantages for the consumer. The native app does not have to rely on third party apps to be accessed. This eliminates the fret of slow-loading pages brought by out-of-date browsers struggling to process a wealth of information.
Development and Maintenance
Development and maintenance are key consideration when you enter any sort of technical project and that very much applies when choosing between a native app and a mobile optimized website. Upgrading your website to a responsive design is likely to cost extensively less than building an app from scratch and the development time will be less too. Maintenance of an app will be essential and could prove costly. If the platforms and devices that app runs on undergo significant updates, you will likely have to update your app too in order for it to carry on working correctly on the appropriate devices. Maintenance of responsive websites, though still requires a technical team, would be much simpler.
When it comes to retail and travel booking mobile strategies, the deciding round comes down which will generate more actual sales. The only definitive answer here is that you need to have a mobile medium or you risk losing out significantly. A responsive website is the best place to start and predominantly valuable in the travel related industry, where consumers are notorious for shopping around. Optimizing your website for mobile is cost-effective and an app is a risky savings if you are getting started in the mobile arena. The native app may be the new kid on the block but the receptive website is by no means out for the count – ensure your homepage is optimized first!