Would it Be Better to Sell on a Website or an App?

In the age of smartphones, getting people connected with your business is easier than ever. Almost 73% of ecommerce sales come from mobile devices. This makes accessing services via smartphone a key component to an effective ecommerce strategy. But should you be spending time curating a sleek mobile website or hiring a designer to create a fully functioning app? It’s a tough question and depends a lot on what you want to accomplish. We’ll take you through each option to help you decide what’s best for your business.

Mobile Websites

A well designed and functioning mobile site is often an afterthought of ecommerce companies. Have you ever tried to access a website on your phone to find that you can’t view the whole screen, the navigation buttons are too small or you have to keep resizing the page? It’s frustrating and makes the buying experience almost unbearable. Building a website that is mobile friendly enhances the user experience making customers more likely to make a purchase.

Website Pros

Mobile websites can be easily accessed via URL without the need to download an app. Lots of users find mobile websites through advertisements on social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram which decreases hassle for the customer. Websites are also compatible with any mobile device while apps need a different version for each operating system.

Website Cons

Some things to keep in mind when working on a mobile website is that not all desktop features and content will be available in a mobile version. A mobile screen often shows less content than a desktop which could be an issue for some users. Mobile websites do not have offline access making them inaccessible to users without internet connection. Another setback is having to keep both your desktop and mobile website updated. Taking care of this can be time consuming and take your focus away from other things your business needs.

apps on a phone

Ecommerce Apps

Apps are one of the most popular ecommerce trends. In 2020, mobile app revenues reached $318 billion. Popular categories for small business apps include gaming, lifestyle, productivity, travel and mobile commerce. Apps are the best fit for mobile devices because that is their intended purpose. 


One of the biggest pros about apps is their convenience. Apps are configured to fit mobile devices making content load faster and enhancing the user experience. They give your business the ability to send notifications to give your customers updates on new products and promotions. Apps also allow the user to customize their account giving them a more personalized experience and giving you more targeted marketing material. Another great thing about apps is that you can sometimes access them offline, helping your customer get what they need.


Some downsides to mobile apps is that they might not always be compatible with the operating system the user has on their device. Unlike just clicking on a link, apps need to be downloaded and installed. This may deter customers. Some apps are free to install but others come with fees. Similarly to maintaining a mobile website, apps need to be updated, improved and approved to keep functioning properly. Ecommerce app development also tends to be more expensive compared to mobile websites, which can put a strain on the small business owner.

Picking the right platform for your ecommerce development comes down to what your goals are. Apps see more use by active and frequent customers while mobile websites are great for attracting general business. With that in mind, ecommerce marketing is about using a variety of different tools and strategies to reach your audience and grow your business.

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