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Mar 5, 2010 | 2 minute read

Mobile Site vs Mobile Apps [Video]

written by Linda Bustos

Elastic Path is running an Ecommerce Tip of the Week series on the Elastic Path home page, with archives on our Youtube Channel.

This week’s video is on mobile websites vs. mobile applications and features Elastic Path’s Peter Sheldon.

Video Transcript:

Mobile commerce is growing.

In fact in the US next year, it’s expected that 1% of all transactions will occur from a mobile phone. So many retailers are looking at growing their mobile commerce strategies and are not sure whether they should build a mobile optimized website or whether in fact they should build dedicated apps for the different devices like iPhone and Blackberry and Android.

There are pros and cons to both.

On the mobile website side, it is guaranteed that they can be used across all different phones. Any phone with a browser can view a mobile optimized website. But even then, some retailers are finding they need to build two versions of their mobile optimized website: one for the high end devices, and one lower fidelity version for the lower end devices. This creates a lot of constraints on your development capabilities, and the experience differs depending on what device one’s using.

On the other side, mobile apps like iPhone apps, Blackberry apps and Android apps have to be created for each of the different devices, but they’re dedicated for each device. They’re guaranteed to work and they can leverage some of the rich hardware features of the phone like the GPS, the camera and the maps.

So think carefully whether a mobile app or a mobile optimized website is right for you. Know what your customers are using or what devices they own. If all your customers are business users and are all using Blackberries, then think seriously about building a dedicated Blackberry rather than just a mobile optimized website.

On Monday we will follow up this topic with a more detailed post from Dennis Newel, Business Analyst at Elastic Path, Mobile Commerce: App, Mobile Site or Both?

And on Tuesday, March 30 we will be presenting a live webinar with Elastic Path's CTO Michael Vax discussing the ins and outs of application stores: App store - a new way to sell software, media, and anything digital.