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Business owners are increasingly shifting their focus from websites to mobile applications for their business. But should you head in the same direction? What are the benefits? Are there any drawbacks? Read on to find out the advantages and disadvantages of converting a website into an app.

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Every business, regardless of the industry or size, only exists if it has an online presence. But with the rise of mobile technology and the majority of people using their smartphones to find local stores and research product information online, you can no longer build your enterprise around just a website if you want to remain profitable and competitive in your industry.

This has completely changed the dynamics of running and doing business. Businesses of all industries and sizes have adapted to this change, initially by developing mobile responsive websites. However, recent statistics indicate that users spend 89 percent of their digital time on mobile applications. Only about 11 percent of consumers actually prefer visiting websites.

Looking at these statistics and the current mobile technology trends, it comes as no surprise that marketers and business owners are increasingly shifting their focus from websites to building and supporting mobile applications for their business. But should you head in the same direction? What are the benefits? Are there any drawbacks? Read on to find out the advantages and disadvantages of converting a website into a mobile app.

What Are the Disadvantages of Converting Your Website into an App?

Compatibility

One of the advantages of a website is that anyone can access and navigate it regardless of the type of mobile device they’re using. Plus, they won’t need to visit the play store and install anything before accessing and using their functionality. Converting your website into a mobile app would require you to develop a separate version of the same app to support each platform (Windows, Android, and iOS). Moreover, users will need to find, download, and install your app before they can use it. 

Support and Maintenance

Chances are you’ve recently received a notification on your smartphone to update some of the applications you’re using. When you turn your website into a mobile app, you’ll need to provide regular updates. Additionally, you’ll also have to have a team that will continuously work to fix any bugs or security issues.

Cost of Development

Of course, the cost of mobile app development is a major factor. The fact that you’re supposed to create an app for every mobile platform means you’ll spend more money on separate development teams. Sometimes, the effort isn’t worth it if you run a native website that wouldn’t be able to leverage the benefits of a traditional app. Of course, some development companies are more expensive than others. Always be sure you’re working with a reputable team that uses modern software tools like Amazon Web Services, JFrog, and GitHub.

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What Are the Advantages of Turning Your Website into a Mobile App?

Meeting Today’s Customer Expectations

The modern customer is accustomed to mobile applications. Apps have become part of nearly every person’s life. From entertainment and fitness to schooling, shopping, and leisure, there’s an app for many of your day-to-day activities and tasks.

Global smartphone users are projected to grow to over 4 billion by 2023. And as mentioned, mobile device users spend approximately 89 percent of all their digital media time on mobile applications. A 2017 US Mobile App Survey from ComScore found that 76 percent of millennials would consider their smartphones worthless and ineffective if they didn’t have any apps.

As such, converting your site into an app allows you to meet the expectations of modern users. And by doing so, you get to build a real lasting relationship with your audience (customer loyalty), getting users to keep coming back to your business.

Offline Accessibility

Research has shown that the human attention span has been shrinking over the years. Think about how you got to open this web page. You first had to start your browser, open a search engine, then type in a search phrase before you got the result you wanted. Even if you didn’t go through that entire process, you had to wait for some time for the page to load.

Now, imagine if your internet connection was slow or the web page simply took longer to open. Chances are you’d have abandoned the page. And you wouldn’t be here reading this content. This is exactly what happens with every user who tries to access your website.

The advantage of turning your website into a mobile app is that users don’t necessarily need an internet connection to access your content and features. Once they download it on their mobile devices, users can enjoy offline functionalities. They can access in-app calls, user data, and available promos (for e-commerce apps).

Personalized Experience

Mobile applications are increasingly becoming popular because they help people perform their day-to-day tasks. With a mobile app, users can maximize their experience by setting preferences, tracking their interactions, and creating personal accounts.

As a business owner, you can provide your customers with product recommendations or information based on their engagement, location, and behavior. And since they’re getting content that resonates with their needs, they’re more likely to come back again and again. This is reason enough to consider turning your website into a fully functional app.

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Integrated Functionalities

You simply can’t do away with the fact that mobile apps are capable of many more functionalities and features compared to websites. Turning a website into an app allows you to immediately integrate features such as social media, push notifications, camera, maps, fingerprint detection, and GPS tracking. Therefore, users can have a better experience with an app. Basically, it utilizes their mobile devices’ native functionalities. Plus, you’ll benefit from richer data.

Convenience

You’d be right to say a mobile application is a simplified version of a website. However, they are more accessible to users, provide a more interactive experience, and allow for better customization. Compared to websites, apps tend to load content faster. Plus, they allow you to effectively guide users on what actions to take. With this level of convenience for the user, you can enhance customer engagement, generate leads, and ensure better conversion. After all, mobile apps have been shown to have a 157 percent greater conversion rate than websites, thanks to the convenience, extended functionality, and greater personalization they offer.

Should You Turn Your Website into a Mobile App?

Well, that’s a decision you should make for yourself after looking at the benefits and drawbacks. However, it’s clear why more and more businesses are choosing to turn their web services into mobile applications. If you can afford it and have weighed the pros and cons, you’ll be in a better position to make the right choice.