Mobile App Vs Website for ECommerce

Nobody can ignore the importance of mobile platforms, especially e-commerce businesses witnessing an influx in customer visits to their site from a mobile platform. As per a study done in 2015, 85% of consumers prefer mobile apps over websites, and 41% of smartphone owners had made at least one purchase from their smartphone. Further, the worldwide market share of mobile commerce is expected to touch 70% by 2017, and by 2020 the revenue generated by mobile marketing will likely be around $ 284 billion.

However, that does not mean that the web platform can be entirely neglected in favor of the mobile platform, or having a web application will mean that you will tap a more significant market share. As much as people prefer the mobile platform for ecommerce shopping, studies have also shown that of the 8.52% desktop users that add to the cart, 2.78% make an actual purchase. On the other hand, the add-to-cart rate is 4.7% on the mobile platform, and the conversion rate is 80%.

1. Responsive, mobile, or both?

It has become imperative for all websites and web applications to be responsive or adaptive. They can be accessed from a desktop, tablet, or smartphone, and business owners have to work with this assumption while going live with their solution. Also, Google marks down the page ranking of web solutions that are not adaptive to the varying screen size. The user experience and interface presentation vary for desktop and mobile platforms. Hence, the treatment of the web solution will vary based on the device it is likely to be accessed on. If half of the daily traffic to the website is accessing it from a mobile device, the business is expected to lose many customers. A Google survey of smartphone users in the USA revealed that over 65% preferred using a mobile website over the mobile application for online shopping. Also, conversions have improved significantly for leading ecommerce businesses since adopting responsive websites since they offer a better customer experience. Also, 40% of web users abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Responsiveness trims the web interface to ensure that the website is not heavy and loads quickly.

2. Need for a mobile application

Established ecommerce businesses have a mobile application handy along with a responsive website for their business. Quite a few companies have tried adopting mobile applications alone instead of launching a website. Based on the type of product or service being offered, very few have succeeded, though even they did at the cost of losing a more significant market share. As per a study by VisionMobile, over 55% of mobile apps earn less than $500/ month. Another Gartner report suggests that 25% of app users use it only once, and about 80-90% of apps are eventually deleted.

Despite these demotivating figures, a mobile application makes sense and is even preferred in many scenarios by online shoppers because it is convenient, fast, and easier to browse. Also, it is easier to push personalized notifications on new offers, and the customer can also respond faster.

3. More on Mobile Technology and its advantage over website

The user is always logged in on a mobile app, so the shopping cart can be accessed faster, and it is more secure to save credit card details. Further, in the case of using net banking and other modes of payment where one-time passwords are required, these get auto-filled, speeding the payment process. Device technologies also make a lot of difference in enhancing the shopping experience for the users. Some instances,

  • Mobile camera – the front mobile camera can be used by the buyer to load their image and check the outfit or accessory on themselves. The camera can also be used as a barcode scanner for making payments or finding products online
  • iBeacon – iBeacon sends real-time alerts to app user when they pass the shop and inform them of any new offer or which aisle they can find some specific product on.
  • NFC – NFC can be used to make a one-tap payment
  • GPS – the GPS and map can be used to locate stores, centers and even track the real-time location of the package to be delivered.

4. Mobile and web strategy

Whether the business launches a mobile application immediately or not, it is essential to have a fully functioning mobile strategy. Whether it is a responsive design or mobile application, there must be clarity in goals while designing the solution so that the user experience is enriched by the shopping experience.

A new business can opt for web development services in India or any of the leading web service providing countries in favor of mobile app development solutions in the initial days of their ecommerce solution launch. A responsive website or web application will be a meaningful investment for the long term and give the customer a sense of permanency about the business. Extending the service with a mobile application will ensure many downloads and establish brand loyalty, which is a fickle currency in times of such tough competition.


Effie F. Bush is a 27-year-old junior manager who enjoys praying, social card games, and listening to music. She is inspiring and brave, but can also be very disloyal and a bit unfriendly.She is an Australian Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a post-graduate degree in business studies.

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