There is an on-going battle being fought between mobile websites and apps. Ok, so maybe the word battle is a little strong, but you get the idea.
On the whole, I have always tended to favour mobile websites, as having several advantages:
- you don’t have to persuade the user to download – once they’re at your website, they’re there
- the need to create multiple apps for multiple, fast changing platforms is eliminated – a well built responsive mobile website should work cross-platform
So I was interested to read this report by Nielsen, giving the results of research involving 5000 US smartphone users. The biggest message from the study of users use of retail apps and websites was this:
“Smartphone owners of both genders prefer retailers’ mobile websites over mobile apps, with men slightly more likely to try retailers’ mobile apps than women.”
To me, this makes complete sense – if you want to get the job done quickly (and who doesn’t?), why would you faff around downloading an app? Unless of course, the mobile website experience is pretty rubbish.
Perhaps a little oversimplified, but the general picture is clear…
You can read the full report here: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/?p=31164