eCommerce Mobile App vs Website

As a Web & Mobile App Development agency, we are asked the following question a lot: Is a mobile application worth the investment of time and money? While each client is unique and different, most of the time an E-commerce mobile app is far more effective for a company than relying on mobile websites for their business needs.


In this article, we take a deep dive into current trends, differences, pros, and cons of both platforms to give you everything you will need to make an educated assessment yourself.


What is A Mobile Website?


A mobile website is a website that was designed to be responsive to any device that is accessing the URL. To put simply, the website will change to fit the screen size you are using no matter if you are on a tablet or smartphone. The user accesses the website simply by putting in the URL into the device’s browser.


Why Are Mobile Websites So Popular Today?


Mobile responsive websites started to gain traction early in 2017 when Google announced that a major ranking for websites would be having a responsive mobile website. Why did Google decide to put such an emphasis on mobile websites? They looked at the data and how the internet was accessed over the years.

In 2013, 30% of all internet usage was on a mobile device. By 2015, it was almost 50/50 and in the most recent 2018 statistics, almost 75% of all users on the internet were accessing from a mobile device.

So What is A Mobile E-commerce App?


A mobile E-commerce app can be downloaded directly onto your iOS or Android device and allows for the user to purchase products directly from the application. Think of it as your brand’s store rolled up into a nice tidy mobile application.


E-Commerce App vs Mobile Website


Now that we understand why mobile apps and websites are popular and the market saturation of mobile users, let’s start to break down the differences and what it means for your company.


The development of a fairly sophisticated mobile e-commerce website might require approximately 60-80 hours of work from an average webmaster. In contrast, to develop a mobile E-commerce application, derived from the same website, it might require approximately 200-250 hours of work. That is a substantial difference and understandably comes with a sizable cost difference.

Winner: Mobile Website



To access a mobile website, the user needs to go to their browser and then input your URL. While this may seem simple, you are making huge assumptions for this scenario possible. First, mobile users are far more likely to access applications than web browsers. A recent study shows that 90% of all time spent on mobile devices is on applications and while only 10% on web browsers. 

Furthermore, to access a web browser you are assuming the user has access to the internet. Unlike mobile websites, an E-commerce mobile app can be accessed without an internet connection and items can be saved in the shopping cart until an internet connection is made.

You are also hoping the user knows and remembers your website. The good thing about an E-commerce app is that once it is installed the user needs to remember nothing about your brand. As a matter of fact, your brand’s icon and awareness will be on the phone constantly reminding them.


Most importantly, mobile applications can send push notifications so that you have access to users 24/7. Listed below are a few of the many benefits your company will see from utilizing push notifications:


  • Opt-in/Opt-out feature:  Users control push notifications. When used right, apps and their notifications keep customers connected – not annoyed. In a device’s mobile settings, users can customize how and what they want to see from your app.
  • Increase Traffic: Push notifications help retain users. Not only do they help increase interaction on the topic of the message, but they can help increase the returns you see from your app. Notifications can also be geographically-based to alert users to discounts or specials when they’re in a particular location.
  • Get Insight on Customer Behavior: Apps help you learn about what appeals to your customers. Push notifications have an analytic tracking system for messages, interaction times, devices, platforms and for situations, that created the most engagement.
  • Foster Engagement: Your organization’s app is a direct line of communication to its customers. People avoid apps that simply take up space on their phones. But when an app has push notifications… each *ping!* and message that follows instantly informs a customer of what’s new and can drive them toward action.
  • Easy to use: And easy to manage. Push notifications are targeted, friendly and relevant to the user. This makes them an effective marketing tool for any occasion


Winner: E-Commerce Mobile Apps



What good is an application or website if it doesn’t convert visitors and users into sales and money for you? One of the best ways to measure the success of E-commerce websites and applications is shopping cart conversions. Basically, how often does someone buy an item if they put it in a shopping cart?


A study was done by Medium that showed E-commerce applications are far better at converting sales than mobile websites. A typical mobile website has 80% of all items put in a shopping cart abandoned meaning they ultimately don’t purchase the item.

On the flip side, E-commerce applications have only a 20% shopping cart abandonment rate. Why are apps more effective? Simply because when you are on a website if you have not logged in, then your shopping cart really cannot be saved. On a mobile app, this problem goes away because the data is stored until the user reopens that app and the items are still in the cart. Link:https://medium.com/@GuruTechnolabs/e-commerce-app-vs-website-45f78906acb6


Winner: E-Commerce Mobile Apps


User Experience/Performance

An application is specifically designed from a user experience perspective and the user interface is specifically for a mobile device. Everything is lightweight, user-friendly, and crazy fast. When you create a mobile website you typically are converting it from your desktop website. This leads to bulky features, a heavy user experience, and slower speeds.


Mobile websites have come a long way but still are more like children of a website as opposed to an independent functioning platform for your company. E-Commerce Apps are developed all with the mobile platform in mind from concept to finish.

The better user experience leads to more users shopping on E-commerce Apps than mobile websites. As a matter of fact, 209.1 minutes of mobile shopping per month is done on mobile applications as opposed to an average of 10.9 minutes on mobile websites. The user experience on applications is more fluid and easier to navigate, so people are more likely to shop there than on a mobile website.

Winner- E-Commerce Apps


Final Thoughts


Be More Innovations is a growing company, it is pivotal to develop a mobile E-commerce application to drive new sales, retain customers, and increase overall customer engagement. Making an upfront investment in an E-commerce mobile application will raise your company’s brand awareness, increase access for your customers, and enable you to hit revenue targets. Here’s the best news. Our eCommerce mobile app solution allows us to develop a beautiful branded app for a fraction of the usual cost, making a mobile app more affordable and valuable than ever.

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