If you're an online seller and want your customers to place orders from their tablets or smartphones, you have the choice between a responsive website and a mobile app. In recent years, the mobile market has experienced extraordinary growth, making mobile devices the primary means of communication. The two aforementioned options are your best choices for convenience. If you're struggling to decide, here are the pros and cons of each.
A responsive website
This is an online platform designed to automatically adapt to the screen of the phone from which it is accessed.
- Universal Accessibility: This type of website can be accessed from any device's browser, whether it's a computer, tablet, or smartphone. An app doesn't offer the same range of possibilities.
- Simplicity: Whenever a change is made to the original site, everyone visiting from their mobile device will automatically see it.
- Less Expensive Investment: Designing a responsive website is much less expensive than developing an app. To make the platform responsive, it's enough to add some additional development to the original site.
- Numerous Development Opportunities: Online platforms continue to evolve. Having a responsive site allows your customers to access all the latest features, tabs, and functionalities from their mobile devices, just as if they were using a computer.
- Tactical Positioning: Despite the mobile market's significant growth, not all smartphone users are strictly app-focused. Having a responsive site allows you to reach these users.
- Optimization Requirement: According to Google's new mobile compatibility conditions for websites, you must optimize your platform for mobile devices. Furthermore, it's impossible to envision a thriving online business today without offering customers a responsive site.
- Potential Loading Slowness: The loading time for this type of website depends on the user's connection speed, whether they are in 3G or 4G mode.
The mobile app
A mobile app is software specifically designed for tablets and smartphones. It's usually available for download on platforms like the Windows Store, Play Store, Apple Store, either for free or for a fee.
- Quick and Easy Access: To access the app, simply tap its icon on your smartphone – no need to enter a URL or search in a browser.
- Well-Designed Ergonomic Interface: Since apps are specifically designed for mobile devices, they offer a high-quality user experience.
- Effective Notifications: When users enable Push notifications, they receive real-time news, updates, and promotions. This allows you, as a seller, to maintain constant contact with your customers and boost your business, which isn't possible with a responsive website.
- Improved Image: Offering an app to your customers can boost your reputation. If your app is always on a customer's phone, they're unlikely to forget about you.
- Expensive Implementation: App development can be costly, especially if you want to further customize your software or add special features.
- Costly and Often Unnoticed Updates: When new information is added to an app, the only way for customers to see it is by offering an update. This practice is frequent, time-consuming, and expensive since each change must go through the app provider. Worse still, customers don't always download these updates, meaning they may miss timely information.
- Potentially Cumbersome Weight: Apps usually take up considerable space on devices, sometimes too much.
- Independent Content: If you have a responsive site and an app, you can't link the two unless you use an application programming interface.
For chain restaurant owners, an app could be helpful, allowing customers to find the nearest location on the go. For an independent restaurant, offering an app shows that you're trendy and enables you to collect customer information from those who download it.
Making a Choice
In addition to everything mentioned above, it's worth noting that while having an app is trendy, a responsive website remains a must. To boost your restaurant, focus on creating a mobile-friendly online platform. As app development costs tend to decrease, you might consider having one alongside your website. Nevertheless, always remember the importance of a responsive site.