Astute Internet observers know by now that the future of the web is mobile. More and more consumers will access data and information via smartphones, tablets and other portable devices. So businesses need to prepare by beefing up their presences on the mobile web.
But is it better to get started by creating a mobile-optimized website or by building a standalone mobile app?
A mobile app is faster, more interactive and can integrate with all kinds of other phone features. But the app must be installed to be of any use at all, while a good mobile site can simply be navigated to on a user’s whim. It’s also typically cheaper to build a mobile site, and you don’t have to deal with any pesky approval hassles.
Mobile apps are becoming more and more popular with Internet users, however. Two years ago, users spent an average of about 20 or more minutes per day on browser-based sites than mobile apps. By last December, that relationship had flipped, and mobile apps were outpacing browser-based sites by more than 20 minutes per day.
Maybe the answer to what to develop first is embedded in what type of service you’re looking to provide. Studies have shown Internet users prefer mobile browsers for shopping, searching and entertainment. But they prefer mobile apps for managing data, navigation and connecting with others.
The advertising agency MDG pulled data from sources including Flurry Analytics, ComScore and others to create the infographic below. Check it out for the fuller picture of how mobile apps and mobile sites compare. Then let us know in the comments: Which do you think is more useful for a business to invest in creating?