Before smartphones, e-commerce websites were largely designed specifically for desktop browsing. As smart-phone usage grew, mobile apps really grew in popularity because of the limitations of mobile website design. At the time, you had more options from a design perspective and the user had a better aesthetic experience. That isn’t the case anymore though. These days almost everyone has a smartphone and with it, the library of available apps has grown exponentially.
Why Apps Don’t Work Anymore
These days, everyone has an app. Your bank has an app, your gym has an app, even your children’s school has an app. People have so many different apps on their device, many simply won’t install another one just to purchase your product. You need to provide an easily accessible mobile website that doesn’t require any additional installation process or occupy valuable storage space.
Development costs are another big hurdle when it comes to creating mobile apps. Apps, especially those built for both major ecosystems – Android and iOS, require development teams that are proficient in coding on both platforms or in many cases, separate teams for each version. Apps need to be tested on every different device and require frequent changes and updates to keep up with updates to the Android and iOS operating systems. All of this adds up to a very expensive and potentially problematic way to offer online shopping for mobile devices.
Today, the trend in terms of mobile shopping is moving toward responsive websites that are designed specifically to read the size of the user’s device display and restructure the page for that user’s best visual experience. Because responsive websites operate on normal internet coding languages like HTML and CSS, they don’t need to be redesigned or constantly changed to accommodate every different device or operating system – making them far more affordable and more convenient for both the company and the user.
- It’s ok to have apps, but those apps should be lead management, social media, contact marketing, or follow-up applications. They shouldn’t be apps that you’re going to expect or require your customers to download in order to shop for your products.
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