In recent times, mobile has become an integral aspect of the digital marketing strategy of many organisations in Ghana, Nigeria and throughout West Africa. This has been largely due to the surge in adoption of mobile devices by consumers in Africa. As at April 2013, the total number of subscribers in Ghana stood at 26,591,124 (Source: http://www.nca.org.gh/40/105/Market-Share-Statistics.html) while the total subscriber base for Nigeria as at March 2013 stood at 161,928,765 (Source: http://www.ncc.gov.ng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125&Itemid=73)
When planning to have a mobile presence for your business, one of the first considerations most people have is whether to opt for a mobile app, or to develop a mobile website or to have both. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed via smart phones and other handheld devices but whether or not you use an app or a mobile website is really dependent on what it is you want to achieve.
A mobile website for example would make sense if your digital marketing strategy involves offering mobile-friendly content across multiple handheld devices.
This is because mobile websites tend to be compatible across a range of mobile devices and mobile browsers, whereas a mobile app would have to be developed with specific constraints and considerations in mind.
In addition, you also have to consider how you want consumers engaging with your brand. Mobile apps give consumers the laborious task of having to download the app and then installing it. With a mobile website the consumer has instant and immediate access to you. Nothing has to be downloaded and nothing has to be installed.
There are however still situations where having a mobile app makes more sense. Firstly mobile websites require access to the internet. If the information being provided to consumer is fairly static and will not change, it might be better to utilize a mobile app. This way, whether or not the consumer has access to the internet, they can still interact with you and your product.
Again, if you want there to be a lot of interaction with the consumer, as well as personalization in how content is accessed, you may also want to consider a mobile app. Lastly, in the event that you may need to access the processing power of a consumers device, or a specific feature of the device such as the camera for video calls for example, it will be best to consider developing an app.
In the end, the approach you employ, whether mobile website or mobile app depends on your overall objective. As stated there are some instances where you may find a combination of both works better for you.
Hope you now have an idea of which of these two to use for your organisations? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.