Savvy business owners know that to maximize profit they need to maximize engagement with their customers. A savvy business owner also knows that he or she needs to maximize every dollar spent on engaging with customers. So what’s the best approach? A simple web page that’s viewable anywhere, on any device? A rich web application with views targeted to mobile devices? A native mobile application that seamlessly integrates with the mobile device? The decision should be based on the nature of the business, and the nature of the engagement.
If your customers need to know basic facts about your business, like hours and services offered, a simple website may be enough, and is by far the cheapest option. A simple website is limited in its capacity to let you know who is interested in your business, and incapable of pushing targeted information to the customer. However, with its low barrier to entry it is often the way businesses get their first foothold on the internet. A web application can provide a richer and more personalized experience for your users, and help you know more about them as well. A web application can provide your users a seamless experience across multiple devices. A web application can provide an experience targeted directly at the needs of your customers, and that will keep them coming back for more. You will have more information about how they interact with your site, too, and what they are looking for.
Of course the only way to provide your users a completely natural experience on their device is to give them an app targeted to that device, by utilizing native mobile application development. Native apps provide the speed and access to built-in features and controls users expect when using their phone, whether it be a multi-touch interface, push notifications, or just a look that appears natural on the device. Native apps also provide two killer features that are hard to match on the web: they are discoverable on the app store, and they provide multiple opportunities for monetization. Native apps can be a tad more expensive to produce and more difficult to update, but they are the only way to provide a truly seamless experience for your use.
The last option is not to choose at all, and develop rich web and native mobile clients that access your services and provide users an ideal experience wherever they are and whatever device they happen to be using.
If you have any further questions about choosing web or native mobile application development, or wish to hear more about different approaches to your application experience, feel free to contact us.