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The Difference Between Mobile App and Mobile Web

Mobile Internet means more than having an app for that! Here are some definitions that might help you develop a mobile strategy for your business:

Mobile App(lication) – This is software that has been designed and then either distributed freely or sold through marketplaces provided by mobile device vendors, such as the Android Market, iOS Apple Store, Windows Marketplace for Mobile and the BlackBerry App World. For example: Starbucks offers several free Apps. One allows you to pay for purchases using your Starbucks card and earn rewards when you do. Another allows you to use your Smartphone as a wallet, when you’ve configured it with your debit or credit card.

Mobile Web App(lication) – This is different than the first type of App. This is actually a website that you can access via a mobile device, through the Internet. The Web App is designed to perform a set of functions. An example of this would be Google’s Mobile GMail or Twitter Mobile sites.

Mobile Website – Again, different than above, this is a version of your main website which has been optimized for mobile devices. The mobile website usually contains the same content as the normal version of the website, it is just designed for mobile internet users. An example of this would be CNN Mobile.

Mobile Web vs. Mobile Apps Statistics

comScore offers an annual report on the 2012 Mobile Future in Focus that highlights mobile markets in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Japan, and Canada. Here is some great information from that report:

  • 127.6 million Mobile users in the U.S. and 108 million users in Europe consumed mobile media through their mobile browser or application in 2011, about a 30% increase over 2010.
  • In December 2011, 47.6% of the total mobile audience in the U.S. used apps, 47.5% used mobile browsers; in Europe, 38.2% of the total mobile audience accessed mobile media via application, 38.1% used browsers.

Another article focused on what drove user choice. The article Less Than 10% Of The Web In 2012 Is Mobile Ready found that 81% of users prefer mobile sites to apps for price research, 79% used mobile websites for product reviews, and 63% of users went to these sites in order to purchase something.

Can you imagine what you’re missing if your website isn’t optimized for mobile internet users?

This same article states, “When a consumer does click on your site in the search results, over half of these potential customers would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site and furthermore, 40% would then visit a competitor site after a bad mobile experience on yours.”

 

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