A mobile app is a software application, typically available at little or no cost, that can be installed on a mobile device. A mobile app can be an interesting marketing solution, as they can have additional functionality that mobile websites do not, but they are typically more expensive and they do not negate the need for a mobile friendly website.
Customers looking for business information from a mobile phone want quick access to the business hours, phone number, and location. If they can’t easily find that from the mobile website, they’ll move on to the next one. A mobile website instantly connects your customers with the information they are looking for. The majority of mobile searches for local businesses are from consumers who are looking to buy immediately. If you’re searching for Chinese food from your mobile phone, you’re probably looking to order Chinese food.
Mobile apps must be downloaded and installed, which is an extra step that most potential customers just won’t take when they’re casually browsing businesses or just looking for quick info on the go.
Native apps are mostly useful for existing customers, who already know and like your brand enough to want to install the app on their phone. The app provides the ability for returning customers to view specials, push notifications, and company info, but it isn’t useful for the casual new customer who isn’t familiar with your business. If a company creates a mobile app, they should still have a mobile friendly website. Besides, they’re usually much cheaper.