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Do you need an app or a mobile responsive website?

05 Jan 2021 Developer News
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Mobile traffic accounts for more than 50% of web traffic worldwide. That means it’s more important than ever for your business to have an online presence that’s easily accessible and designed for mobile users. Website owners have a difficult choice to make. Should they develop and design a purpose-built mobile app, or will a mobile responsive website work just as well? Each platform comes with its own benefits, but they also have their own negative as well. Before you start to consider which to chose, it’s important that you know what we mean when we talk about mobile apps or a mobile responsive website.

What do we mean by a mobile app or a mobile responsive website?

First things first, a mobile app is an application that’s been specifically designed for use on an Apple or Android operating system. Each operating system, sometimes known as an OS, will feature different code arrangements and will need to have an app specifically designed to run on them.

A native app is becoming a popular choice for a lot of operators, who want to offer their customers a seamless browsing experience.

A mobile responsive website is a site that has been designed specifically for mobile use. It’ll be accessible on a mobile browser, and will have a slightly different URL to the main site (generally the URL will have an m. in front of it). This page will adapt itself to fit whatever mobile screen users are viewing your website on.

Should I get an app?

Mobile apps do take some time to develop and are a bit more expensive. You may have to pay a developer to do it for you, and there will be some maintenance costs involved as well.

However, they do come with some excellent advantages in functionality, speed, and user retention. Let’s start with the big one:

User retention. Research suggests that consumers spend 90% of their time in apps and only 10% in browser. They are also more likely to spend money inside apps as 58% of millennials prefer to make purchases this way, rather than online. Apps are also better at retaining users than mobile websites, which have a retention rate of 40%.

Functionality. Because apps are built to run on each specific operating system, they tend to run more smoothly and can integrate better with your phone. They just work better.

Speed. This ties in with functionality. Apps tend to run faster than mobile websites, which means users will have more satisfaction and are more likely to stay in your app.

What are the downsides?

As we mentioned before, building an app can be expensive and time-consuming. If your app is designed poorly, it’ll frustrate users and it can actually have a negative impact on brand loyalty.

Why should I pick a mobile responsive website? The online gaming site case

If apps are faster, retain customers better and can build brand loyalty, how are mobile responsive websites better? And why this is the first choice for most gambling related websites?

Cost. They can be cheaper to build. Many website builders, such as Squarespace or Wordpress, offer mobile integration as part of the package.

Search visibility. You’ll often find casino operators decide to have a mobile responsible website because it’s indexed by Google and that can lead to organic exposure on search engines - that’s certainly the path Betnero has taken. Since 80% of gamblers play on a mobile device, being easily accessible to this market is so important.

What are the cons?

As we’ve mentioned, a mobile website isn’t as fast as an app or as functional. Customers don’t spend as much online as they do vs an app and browser speeds can be slower.

How do I pick one?

If you can afford it, pick both. But make sure that app is well designed, responsive and fast. Otherwise, it’ll cause more problems than it’s worth.

For those who want organic exposure from Google and search engines, a mobile responsive website is a must.

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