This is a question so many small businesses ask themselves. Should I create an app, or should I go with a website? There are a few different factors that can help you decide. In this article, we’ll take a look at those differences and explain why having a website is most often the best way to market your small business online for the majority of small businesses
Your customers may not be willing to download and store your app
Your customers may not be willing to download and store your app. Finding, downloading, and installing an app is a lengthier process than going to a website or using a search engine. If your customer is just looking to find out information quickly – such as your opening hours, a customer service number, or more information about what you do, they may be left frustrated if they’re first forced to install an app to do so.
The average smartphone user opens 10 apps a day, and around 30 apps per month. However, on average they will have 80+ installed on their device. This means the majority of apps go almost completely unused after downloading.
Remember, not everyone has a smartphone too. If you’re targeting the general public, it’s important to know that not everyone has access to an app store or the ability to download apps. It’s very important to consider who your market is when considering this too – while smartphone uptake is extremely high across the average population, that number drops as low as 54 percent among older adults over 65 years old (versus 89% overall).
Websites are easier to update and offer greater flexibility
The next time you want to update your business website, it’s typically as simple as editing the pages as required and pushing out an update. But when it comes to apps, things are different. Apps need to be updated through Apple’s App Store or Google Play (or both), including an approval system for some updates, and this process can take days or weeks to roll out to all your customers.
If your app isn’t getting many downloads and reviews from users, then chances are good that no one will notice if there’s been an update made available for them–which means no new features or bug fixes will come into play until after this lengthy approval process has been completed!
It will cost significantly less to develop a website
A website can be developed by a web designer in-house or outsourced to an agency (like us!) that will do all the work for you. Many will do so on a fixed rate too – you can check out our own fixed fee web design packages here, starting at just £299 for a five-page site.
Developing an app however can be anywhere between £1000-£5000 for a “simple” app, and upwards of £40,000 for increasingly complex requirements. You’ll also likely require ongoing support from a developer for maintenance, updates and changes, whereas you may be confident in maintaining your own website.
Make sure an app is a worthwhile investment.
Consider what functionality an app brings over a website
The next reason why a website may be a better choice for your small business is that it can be tailored to meet the needs of a small business and its customers.
A website can be used on multiple platforms, whereas an app may only work on one platform or device: from desktop computers to mobiles, your website is accessible to all.
So, consider what your customers would actually use your app for and make a list of what its functions would be: Finding out information about your business, placing orders, checking opening hours and more can all be done via your website. What is the benefit of an app for your customers?
While it’s true that apps have become more popular in recent years, they are typically better used in tandem with a website for businesses that have the budget to do so. The fact is that websites offer more flexibility and are easier to update than apps, which means they’re better suited for small businesses. Plus, creating one costs significantly less than developing an app does!