It is really suicidal for any large or mid-sized company dealing in consumer goods to not have a mobile shopping application tool to enable its customers to make purchases through their mobile phones. However, there is really no point in merely having a mobile commerce platform just because customers will shift loyalties to competitor companies. If browsing, booking, and shopping experiences are not good; customers will have a good reason to start purchasing a competitor’s products or services.
When you are developing your mobile commerce platform, you will have to decide whether you want to use applications or mobile websites. This article will discuss the pros and cons of each of mobile commerce platform so that you can make an informed decision.
Advantages of Mobile Apps
• You will get complete control of the user interface of the phone. This will enable you to ensure that the user can enjoy high quality, fast graphics because the code will run on the user’s device.
• You will not have to create new distribution channels for the app. You can use the existing channels like Apple App Store and Google Apps Marketplace to reach out to users.
• The app can be upgraded and new functionalities will be available to the user automatically.
• All the device capabilities like camera, GPS, voice, RFID, address book, and calendar will be available to the app.
Disadvantages of Apps
• Apps for all the different types of smartphones have to be created because these have different operating systems.
• Unlike websites, that can be hyperlinked, apps cannot be connected to each other like web pages.
• It is not possible to provide very large datasets because customers may think that the app is bloated.
• It is not easy to support an app after it has been downloaded.
• You will have to pay some of the stores through which you will distribute your app.
Advantages of Websites
• The cost of developing these is lower because one site runs on all kinds of mobile phones.
• Updates can be incorporated at any point of time.
• You can use your existing publishing and hosting infrastructure to develop the site.
• You are available to the vast number of the people who browse the net through their phones and can find you through the search engines and links that you may provide elsewhere.
• These are easy to maintain because you will always have complete access to your site.
Disadvantages of Websites
• The user can access the site only if he has continuous Internet access, unlike mobile apps, which can be browsed offline.
• The site has to be optimized to ensure that it can be found through the search engines.
• One of the key disadvantages of websites is that users may browse away and even go to competitor sites.
• All the functionalities of the device like camera, address book, calendar, RFID, and GPS is not available to the website because of security and privacy concerns.
Experts on m-commerce services are yet to come out with a verdict about which is better. So you should talk to the developer of your mobile shopping application tool
and decide whether you want a website or an app.
Ashley Forrester is a prolific writer on all topics related to mCommerce. She is an industry insider who is well up on the latest trends and technologies ruling roost in this domain.