Members VS Customers

Hi,

We are in the process of building an app which allows customers to buy from various shops in a small town.

Members = shop owners who add and sell their products on their shop profile
Customers = general users who download the app and buy products from various shop profiles

While customers will only be able to use the service via the App, we are trying to decide if the Members should use a website or an app to:
- sign up and start their payment subscription
- manager their online shop / products

The business will be very much mobile (app) only, however would it make more sense to process / manager the members through a web interface so that they can manage it on a bigger screen or should we just implement the members side of the business via the app too?

Thanks in advance for your help.
oo7mlAsked:
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I think you should let the members use either.  I also think you should make a front end website for the buying too.  It shouldn't be that much extra work and if you are targeting small towns, think of the ones not near a major city where the internet is not taken for granted.
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oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Thanks Padas.

Let's say we just wanted to keep it mobile only BUT before the app is ready we want Members to be able to signup and start their subscription... from a technical point of view, do you think it would then be ok to move the website 'members' database table over to the app database when the app is being launched so that we can phase the website out and the app in?
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Big MontyWeb Ninja at largeCommented:
Just my 2 cents worth:

I think you most definitely should have some sort of website, as it's the easiest form of marketing you can do (once built) and will draw more users to use your app, For me personally, I would think twice about paying for / using an app if it didn't have a website, it would seem a bit shady t me...

Also think about your user base, are they all going to be technically savvy enough to do everything on their phone?
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I'm glad Big Monty is essentially saying the same thing.  

It sounds like you are getting caught up on the database.  If the app can hit your db, so can the web.  It is good practice now to use webservices for your data calls then just make your website all front end just as your app is essentially a front end and using a webservice.

I am in the Chicago area and no worries ever about bad internet connections.  But my 4g here on VZW phone gets better connection then when I am in rural TN on comcast. Do you know how many people pride themselves on their old razor style phones?  

I know it's easy to think instagram started out as app only as did whatsapp. But you are probably going in to a small town and sell them on the idea of your small town app. People will probably buy in because it's new.  But, if you don't have the site available for shopping I think it will be hard for many to use.  

Keep in mind the ipad/tablet is not used as "mobile" and people get turned off when they are on their tablet and get the mobile version meant for a phone.   If you are selling goods, I do think the website will be the main source, tablets will be next, then phones.
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oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Cool, thanks guys...
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