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A basic guide to Mobile Commerce for Magento merchants

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Mobile site vs Mobile app

Difference Between a Mobile site and Mobile App? 

A mobile sites are typically simplified versions of standard websites  with browser-based HTML pages on the various display sizes of phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Mobile sites designed for mobile devices need to load quickly, use limited bandwidth, and cater to touch screens.

Mobile apps are software applications that are works on a specific mobile device's operating system Android, iOS or Window and is downloaded to the device from app store. The mobile app may pull content and data from the Internet, and then it can be accessed offline.

Mobile Sites (Ex: Magento mobile site)


  • Flexibility and the ease of making changes: mobile sites allow business owners to update products and latest news constantly and easily.
  • Immediately accessible: mobile sites have convenience of accessing for one-time visitors without waiting to download mobile apps from app store or installing on mobile devices
  • Cost and Time: Investment for mobile sites is often less, no fees to update or revenue to share with an app store


  • Availability Offline: mobile sites works only when Internet connection is available while native apps that can run locally
  • Native Functionality: Graphics or effects may be disable for limited by bandwidth and technology.
  • Optimization: Harder to optimise for all devices and screen sizes. There are so many different devices on the market that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, so mobile sites won’t be the right size for all screens etc.

Mobile Apps (Ex: Magento mobile apps)


  • Visual:  mobile apps have the capabilities to have superior and complex features like high definition visuals, animations and interactions with quick loading time
  • Native Functionality: Mobile apps make use of all the phone’s features like taps, rotation, GPS, camera, click-to-call function.
  • Visibility: Mobile apps keep brand logo right on customer's home screens. This excites and interests customers and prospects to interact regularly
  • Marketing Features: mobile apps can be used as a marketing and lead generation tool to showcase products and services, better communicate and engage with customers, offer users interesting offers and discounts through notification. Push notifications are messages and alerts that show up to users who have installed your app, and are great for notifying people of special deals and new products.
  • User loyalty: mobile apps enable marketers to use customers profile information and location to customize the offer and tailor customers experience which makes it a great tool to drive users’ loyalty.
  • Availability Offline: Internet Connection is not always required to run mobile app


  • Flexibility: Mobile apps are limited to phone platforms, all application updates will have to be submitted and approved by the app store every time, mobile apps are updated through new versions for user to downloadbe notified with users
  • Accessible: Mobile apps require users to first download and install apps from an app marketplace before reaching or experiencing the apps.
  • Cost and time: Developing a mobile apps is comparatively complex, expensive and time consuming process compared to mobile sites development.

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Related Terms
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