eCommerce App vs Website: Which Is A Better Solution?

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Written By Adeyemi Adetilewa

With a tremendous increase in online shopping, e-commerce benefits businesses and customers for a better shopping experience.

Thousands of businesses looking to make money from their online audience are moving toward eCommerce-based solutions. However, to set up an e-commerce business online, there are two options: a mobile eCommerce app and a website. 

Both have their pros in different areas that you must understand before selecting one for your eCommerce business. So let’s first understand in detail both eCommerce websites and apps.

What is an eCommerce website? 

eCommerce websites consist of domain names and can be accessed with browsers of different devices and platforms. It contains features such as smaller fonts, fewer page elements, and less white space.

Users can instantly visit an e-commerce website by inserting the web URL of the eCommerce website on their browsers. 

There is no requirement for device compatibility to access e-commerce websites as they can easily be run across different devices. To access an e-commerce website, users just need to enter the domain name of their browsers.

What is an eCommerce app?

What is an eCommerce app? 

e-commerce apps are software that can run on mobile devices and desktop computers. To access eCommerce apps, users must first download and install them on their devices.

There comes a requirement to program e-commerce apps separately for each platform, such as mobile devices like android or iOS or desktops like Windows or macOS.

However, with hybrid app development, the e-commerce app can be programmed and run across different devices simultaneously with a variety of eCommerce mobile app features.

Regarding the accessibility of eCommerce apps, there comes device compatibility such as mobile OS version, minimum ram, and processing speed requirement. Also, as per the report, e-commerce app revenue reached $3.56 trillion revenue in 2021, which is a 22 per cent increase from 2020

eCommerce App vs Website: Which is the best?

Check the detailed comparison between eCommerce apps and websites to find out which will be best for your e-commerce business based on these factors:

  • Development cost and time
  • Traffic
  • Offline availability
  • Advertisement and marketing
  • Platform maintenance
  • Shopping experience
  • Search Engine Optimisation

1. Development cost and time

Creating an eCommerce app takes much more time than creating a website. 

There are many factors that developers have to consider when creating a mobile app, such as device compatibility, screen resolution, and much more. In the case of websites, there are less important criteria that developers have to go through to make it compatible across different devices and screens.

Taking care of all the important factors takes up too much cost and time for creating apps compared to websites. This makes e-commerce websites of the best option when businesses have limited budgets and time.

Moreover, multiple plugins are available to create a website that eases its development process and makes it ready to deploy.

Winner – eCommerce Website

2. Personalized user experience

Offering personalized user experience to users is important. With mobile apps, developers can easily customize the entire e-commerce platform, which is challenging in the case of an e-commerce website.

E-commerce apps allow businesses to offer the best platform experience through notifications, UI elements, and other features. With e-commerce apps, mobile app businesses can easily retain their old customers by sending notifications regarding discounts and other offers.

Businesses can easily improve their brand awareness with mobile e-commerce apps as they are installed on their users’ devices by which they can send regular offers and deals going on their e-commerce platforms. If you decide to modify your e-commerce platform regularly, you must go for mobile apps. 

Winner – eCommerce Mobile Application


3. Traffic

To grow your e-commerce business online, you need massive traffic on your platform.

However, there are separate ways to bring traffic to mobile apps and websites. For mobile apps, there need to be more app downloads, while in the case of websites, there is a need to perfect SEO.

Talking over profitability, an e-commerce website can bring massive revenue to your business as billions of searches are happening for e-commerce websites for different products compared to e-commerce app downloads worldwide.

Optimizing your eCommerce website for search engines can drive tremendous traffic and increase your reach and brand awareness. If you are new to e-commerce, you must go for the website, as it can easily help you scale and expand your business online.

Winner – eCommerce Website

4. Offline availability

With a mobile app, it is possible to allow users to access your e-commerce platform without internet connectivity. Mobile devices store information about their e-commerce apps, such as product IDs, invoices, recent browsing history, etc.

While for websites, there needs proper internet only through which users can access e-commerce platforms to access and purchase online products. Slow load times from a bad internet connection cause user friction and frustration to be severe.

Customers frequently have connectivity issues while commuting or travelling, which is frequently when individuals make purchase plans. Allowing customers to access your store offline and add goods to their baskets will boost conversions and revenue for your e-Commerce company.

Offline accessibility enables the app to evolve from being an online store to a location where users may find solutions to their problems whenever they arise. This expanded functionality will consequently result in greater client loyalty.

So, if you want offline availability for your e-commerce platform, you must consider creating a mobile app

Winner – eCommerce mobile application

5. Advertisement and marketing

It is easy to bring traffic to your website from different social media sites compared to redirecting them to your mobile apps. Since there is a requirement to install mobile apps on devices, many users ignore the advertisement of eCommerce apps as compared to websites. 

You must remember that people tend to avoid installing mobile rental apps until it is really fascinating or useful to them. However, in the case of websites, users didn’t mind visiting them as just clicking the eCommerce website link is enough to reach there.

Conversion rates and page load speed are highly correlated. Your user experience, SEO efforts, engagement, and many other important aspects of your e-Commerce business can all suffer from a slow website.

Users often anticipate page loads to take no longer than two seconds. While apps don’t help your overall SEO performance, you can be confident that users will still be able to easily utilise your store even if their internet connection isn’t the best.

Winner – eCommerce Website

6. Platform maintenance

From regular security checks to updating the latest technology trends, there is much more maintenance work involved in websites compared to mobile apps.

While in the case of mobile apps, if you go for hybrid app development, you can easily update your eCommerce app on different platforms simultaneously. You can build a hybrid app with the latest cross-platform technologies like Flutter and React Native to save maintenance time and cost.

Winner – eCommerce mobile application

7. Shopping experience

E-commerce mobile shopping apps have many features as compared to websites, such as easy onboarding, location tracking, notifications, accessing recent product browsing history, and much more.

This feature helps businesses offer their users a great platform shopping experience. While websites of e-commerce don’t come up with such massive features. 

Therefore to easily capture the market of online shopping platforms, considering e-commerce mobile makes a great decision. 

Winner – eCommerce mobile application

8. Search Engine Optimisation

When comparing eCommerce websites and apps in terms of search engine optimization, an eCommerce website that is optimised for Google and other search engines will receive a lot of traffic. 

Additionally, a variety of content marketing techniques will broaden the audience and raise brand awareness. eCommerce applications can be optimised to rank well in the app store search results, but they fall short of how websites are optimised in this regard.

Therefore, eCommerce websites have a greater potential to boost their organic traffic through search engine optimization than eCommerce apps.

Winner – eCommerce Website

eCommerce website vs app comparison

eCommerce website vs app comparison

When we compare e-commerce websites to e-commerce apps, we have found that many people prefer apps to eCommerce websites. It’s because of:

  • More personalized shopping experience with machine learning and other smart algorithms of mobile apps 
  • Apps can easily remind them of ongoing deals on the e-commerce platforms with notifications
  • Users get a better platform experience on mobile apps as compared to websites
  • Apps are faster than websites to access and purchase products
  • Users don’t need to remember the brand names of e-commerce apps as they are already installed on their mobiles

There is no definitive choice between a native mobile application and an e-commerce mobile web. The norm for online retail has long been a mobile-friendly website, but mobile applications excel in terms of individualised user experience and added capabilities.

But there is one important point that has to be emphasised: if your website is obsolete, clunky, and incompatible with mobile devices, no amount of cutting-edge mobile applications can drive sales. Regardless of the device or platform, both should work in harmony and provide a seamless shopping experience.

To grow your eCommerce business online, it is essential for you to target an audience from different places, which can be done only by picking both the e-commerce website and the app. 

The best solution for this scenario is you should go for hybrid app development, where you can deploy your e-commerce platform to both website and app at the same time.

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