According to NASDAQ:SCOR, the number of smartphone users in the United States grew to 58% of all mobile phone users in the first quarter of 2013, a growth of 9% compared to the previous quarter. Additionally, about 29% of smartphone users shop online, a number that is likely to increase. (Source: Forbes, April 8, 2013).
This trend underscores the importance of mobile-compatible applications for businesses. But what should you choose – a mobile app or a mobile website? This article covers the topic with a focus on car dealerships.
Before we discuss which is better, let’s see the main differences between a mobile website and an app.
Mobile Website: It is very similar to a regular website, except that the website is optimized for smartphones and other portable devices. Just like regular websites, these websites contain text, images, videos, etc.
Mobile App: It is only a mobile compatible application that needs to be downloaded and installed on mobile devices to work. Few of them are web-enabled, others are not. Some have content that can be accessed without an internet connection. For example, an app designed for your dealership includes appointment scheduling, product search, special offers, etc.
Comparison of functions
• Availability and Accessibility: Compared to a mobile app, a website can be easily accessed through a browser. On the other hand, an app needs to be downloaded and installed on the device. Furthermore, a website is easily accessible across multiple platforms, whereas an app is not.
• Compatibility: The same mobile website can be used by all mobile users as it is compatible with any device. In contrast, an app can only work on certain devices.
• Reach: Compared to a mobile app, mobile websites have greater reach because they are easily accessible on all platforms through a browser. Mobile websites are available to all users looking for businesses like yours.
• Easy sharing: Multiple groups such as users and publishers can share a mobile website. A URL allows publishers to provide access to their mobile sites from their website, blog, article, or press release. In contrast, a mobile app cannot be shared.
• Personalization: A mobile app will help your business if you plan to offer your customers a personalized application. Once downloaded, an app can be personalized based on the customer’s preferences.
• Cost: Mobile websites are inexpensive compared to building a mobile app for different mobile platforms. In addition, websites are also time-effective. It takes less time to develop and market compared to apps.
What suits your car dealership?
Mobile websites and mobile apps each have their own pros and cons. This can make it difficult to decide which one to choose for your dealership business. It entirely depends on you and the type of mobile presence you are looking for for your dealership.
If your goal is marketing and you want to build a broader mobile presence with a focus on search engines, then you should go for a mobile website. If you want interactive interaction with users and want to provide them with an application that will help them stay in touch with your dealership, an app is a sensible choice.
However, if you really want to build a strong mobile presence, both will help you in their own way. Going for a mobile app without a mobile website makes no sense. But after you have a website, you can expand your services with a working mobile app.