Kate O'Brien, Marketing Director at Daisy Group, discusses whether businesses should opt for an app or a responsive website.
It’s no secret that the internet is playing an increasingly prevalent role in a business’ sales, marketing and financial strategies; therefore the need for an online presence has never been more important. However, when deciding what direction to take online, it’s important to consider whether you should be developing an app or instead focussing on creating a responsive website.
When updating the Daisy website recently, we had to consider the value of each option and weigh their different advantages. In this instance we decided that creating a responsive site would be the more customer-centric option for the business.
A responsive website ensures that our site is fully compatible with both smartphones and tablets of all sizes. The website reacts to the dimensions of the user’s respective device and ensures an improved experience when visiting the site.
As smartphones become quicker and much smarter, users are increasingly likely to use a mobile device to access the internet as opposed to turning on their laptop or computer. Evidence delivered by Google found that 96% users actually use their smartphone to access the internet when at home.
Looking in-house, 12% of our traffic now comes from mobile devices, with a 25% increase in tablet users since January 2012. It’s obvious that mobile traffic is growing, so it was essential that we catered for this growing demand.
Ultimately by creating a more user-friendly, contemporary website, we knew we would encourage users to spend more time on our site.
The limitations of apps mean that users can only focus on specific sections or functions. By comparison, a responsive site will cover our whole Retail portfolio, ensuring all our products and services are easily visible.
The process of creating an app for the whole website would also have been very long and costly. Apps need to be continually upgraded to align them with all the various software updates – iOS, Android, etc. – meaning they are more suited to smaller scale products or services.
However, there are definite advantages to using apps and they are very much in our plans moving forward, in particular with our online account management portal MyAccount. We are aiming to develop an app this year that enables customers to analyse their bills as well as controlling their details – putting control back in their hands.
The process of altering the site wasn’t simple – far from it in fact! However, we have so far seen a 40% increase in mobile and tablet interactions which suggests the changes have been well received.
It’s a positive start and something we will be constantly reviewing.
Our users can now benefit from a well-rounded mobile experience when they visit our site. Shouldn’t your business be doing the same?