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August 28, 2023

App or Website: What is The Best for an E-commerce Business?

If you are starting an e-commerce business, you must be looking mainly into two avenues to establish your store- website, and app. Now, people mostly choose to have both to optimize their business expansion plans. But everyone doesn’t have the budget for both.

As such, one question seems to come up repeatedly- website or app? What’s the preferred option of most successful e-commerce stores? That’s what we are here to find out.

What Factors Determine The Choice Between Apps Or Websites?

Here we will discuss the factors that will help you decide whether you should choose an e-commerce website for a small business or an app.

The Cost Of Development

Cost is the first factor that motivates one to choose between a website or an application. So note that undoubtedly the cost of making an e-commerce application is much higher than developing a website. So, if you are looking for a budget solution, then opt for websites. Also, most successful e-commerce stores do have a website at least. So whether you have an app or not, you must have a site.

However, if you only want an app for your business, then there are cost-effective options like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento plugins or themes as well. However, even with these solutions, it will still be cheaper for you to just develop a site.

The Importance Of User-Experience

Search engine Google prioritizes user experience over any other factor. Also, customers prefer to visit e-commerce websites for small businesses that are fast-loading, responsive, and intuitive. As such, if your e-commerce store has a poor UX, then customers will take their business elsewhere.

You will obviously want to avoid that. So you need to provide a perfect 360-degree user experience to your customers. As such, it is websites that will allow you to provide a balanced and adequate user experience. After all, some of the best e-commerce sites for small businesses have retained customers by offering a unique customer experience through various features. However, if you move beyond user experience and opt for user personalization, you need to choose an e-commerce app.

Ease Of SEO Optimization

If you have a small business or are just starting with your e-commerce store, you will want to get more customers and keep expanding your user base. One way to do that is by optimizing your website by using various SEO strategies and tools.

These SEO methods will allow you to rank on the first page of Google. Thus, your traffic will improve a lot. Know that it’s not possible to carry out SEO tactics on an app. So if you don’t already have an established user base, it’s advised that you create the best website for an online store.

The Factor Of Offline Accessibility

The internet is unstable and slow. After all, how many times have we felt frustrated because a website was not opening due to slow internet? It’s uncountable. But that’s bad news as a business owner. After all, a customer who can’t access your site due to slow or faulty internet is a lost customer.

So you need to ensure that your customers and users can access your e-commerce store even when they are offline. Know that you can do this by ensuring that your users can accomplish some basic tasks. For example, having access to some basic site information till the internet comes back. A great example of an offline feature is Google’s Dinosaur or T-Rex game. However, it’s almost impossible to put such engaging features on a website. But this is possible in an app. So if you can keep your users engaged in the app till the internet returns, then you can significantly improve your customer retention rate.

Overall Accessibility

Websites win in this category since we can access them on any device and all browsers. As such, there’s no issue of compatibility or hassle with downloading an app. Also, you can reach a wider audience with a website.

However, note that the best e-commerce sites for small businesses are mobile-friendly, responsive, and fast-loading. Also, they come with a unique UI/UX for capturing a wide audience. So if you want a large customer base, you will need to ensure that your site has these features.

What Do Consumers Want?

Today apps are everywhere. As such, it’s normal to assume that apps will be the preferred option. But are they? Actual studies show the opposite- that people prefer using the web. Here’s some data that points to this:

  • More than 50% of customers shop using mobile websites rather than apps.
  • About 62% of buyers say that they visit the websites. But around 20% of people use the app store.
  • Above 80% of consumers say that they utilize their smartphone browser to look for in-store products.

All signs point to the fact that websites have emerged as the winners in terms of accessibility, cost, consumer wants, and SEO optimization. So having Website Development for an Online Store should be your priority. However, you shouldn’t write off apps completely. After all, having a website and an app is the ideal combination. So you should get an app made for your e-commerce store after your business has grown.


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