Is a responsive website or mobile application (app) the right choice for your business strategy?
Like most other business decisions, answers should be found within your strategy. A short answer relates to if your strategy is that of customer acquisition or that of customer retention. The purpose of your website could be summed up in one accurate word — strategy.
CUSTOMER ACQUISITION AND RESPONSIVE WEBSITES
An optimized mobile website provides good search engine optimization (SEO) on the search engines that can result in free traffic flowing to your mobile website from the prolific amount of people searching for the products or services your business offers. Free website traffic could result in a few prospects or a prolific amount of prospects becoming new customers when you get found from good SEO techniques. Defining your specific products or services with relevant keywords can lead prospects to your targeted Ad offers where they may easily find on your ads and hopefully convert to customers.
RESPONSIVE WEBSITE OR MOBILE APP?
Ideally, every business, large and small, should have customer acquisition and customer retention strategies, so both a mobile website and an app may be the solution. Your business strategy and goals should determine the tools and tactics used for growing your business whether through SEO and marketing campaigns or whether retaining current customers through engagements that keep them coming back which you will already know by the amount of current traffic coming to your website.
01. Keep your focus on your business goals
Responsive websites can be developed as database-driven web applications that act very much like native apps.
- Mobile websites can be developed as database-driven web applications that act very much like native apps and can be less expensive than apps.
- Mobile apps would be a no-brainer for heavily-trafficked websites already raking in money.
- Keep in mind that maintaining an app with upgrades, including resolving compatibility issues will be more expensive and more involved than maintaining a website over time.
- An attractive return on investment (ROI) for dollars spent should be a consideration when making your decision.
RESPONSIVE WEBSITE DESIGN FACTORS
Responsive website design can eliminate the complexity of having to create separate mobile-friendly versions of your website because it automatically adjusts the layout to suit the device being used. Websites that are optimized to take advantage of the mobile marketing technologies through responsive web design can gain a significant edge over the competition who have yet to become fully mobile optimized. Responsive website design has its drawbacks though. Responsive website designs can load slower in general which can impact your sites SEO, possibly losing potential customers.
Businesses need to take into consideration that mobile application development is not necessarily any less expensive than mobile website development because even though icons are used it still requires expertise in design layout, appearance, and content, especially if you want your app approved in Apple’s iTunes. The app may pull content and data from the Internet, in a similar fashion to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection. Either way, development costs may be more expensive when the requirements call for providing interfaces, design, and content to multiple operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry) or multiple device types.
Begin with a Thought, Then Put It In Writing
CUSTOMER RETENTION AND MOBILE APPLICATIONS (APPS)
Customer retention strategies targets existing customers and are useful for keeping existing customers engaged and coming back for more, such as discounts, special offers, and loyalty programs QR or GPS coupon system, video and podcast distributions, blogs, shopping carts, menus, and other tactics that keep customers coming back. You should have some idea of how much usage you can expect from the customer with retention from engagement tactics. Mobile apps, short for mobile applications, allows you to engage your existing customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether they are home or on-the-go. Your existing customers are already familiar with your products and services and are much more likely to download your app.
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