When much is given, much is expected—at least, that is according to the up-and-coming Mobile generations’ standards. Today’s Mobile generation demands more for the price of brand loyalty, and rightfully so. With over 4 billion mobile phones worldwide, 1 billion of which are smart phones, and 3 billion SMS enabled, having a corporate mobile strategy is more vital than ever (SearchEngineLand.com). Yet, when it comes to selecting a mobile platform, the debate still rages hot: Native App or mobile web site? The answer lies in your business’ mobile goals.
Native Apps give companies the opportunity to “offer richer, more immersive experience due to better functionality” (Econsultancy.com). By taping into a phone’s pre-existing features such as contact directories, mobile cameras, and maps, Native Apps can be tailor fitted to specific mobile platforms—think iPhone or Android. Native feature incorporation could enable a user to find a map to the nearest retail location or send a message to a friend without ever having to leave an App’s ‘walls.’ A major perk to Native Apps is their ability to run without an active Internet connection. On-the-go users can leave the stress of Wi-Fi in their browsers where it belongs and simply tap-into App goodies.
On the other hand, mobile web apps provide the ease of familiarity, much like a pair of fuzzy slippers. Users can simply search for a company within their phone’s web browser just as they would on their home laptop. Keep in mind — an Internet connection is required. And like a pair of fuzzy slippers, mobile web apps are not exactly known for their speed and agility. For mobile commerce this means “sites that are slow to load – even by just a second or two – can often lead to users forgoing the transaction altogether” (Mashable.com). While businesses may initially be drawn to mobile web’s general accessibility claims — most mobile web apps work on all mobile devices with internet capability – potential lag times and dead zones may do more harm to a corporation’s mobile strategy than good.