Smart phones are now so popular that since 2015 more users are searching the internet with mobile devices than desktops or laptops combined! This was a main factor in why Google now gives ranking preference to mobile ready website to ensure that their audience are delivered content that is not only relevant but also in a format that is comfortable to digest.
For up to date content, most information can be delivered from a website that adopts responsive technologies i.e. the format of the content changes depending on the screen size of the device hence making it mobile ready.
There are of course limitations to the functionality of responsive websites in comparison to what smart phones can do; to realise this power, you can commission a Smart Phone App that runs directly on their phone and still connects to the internet if needs be for up to the minute data.
Smart Phone Apps however can be an expensive investment depending on what they need to do and it is often the way forward to do one App first for one operating system to test the market, prior to releasing versions for other operating systems; if you know that most of your target audience uses the iPhone, it makes sense to commission and release an App for the iPhone first; however, if your target audience is not sensitive to the type of phone, then you would want to release your App for Android first, which accounts for over 60% of the market as opposed to the iPhone which covers only approx. 30%
To ensure you are not wasting your money for an App that is not needed, you must look at the functionality you wish to deliver and make sure that it is not possible to do with a simple responsive website; responsive websites functionality will run on both Android and iPhones, will not need to be downloaded first prior to use, more often than not are a fraction of the cost and will work on other devices such as Desktop, Laptops, Notebook and Tablets.
Once you know that a Smart Phone App is the way to go and the preference of device for your target audience i.e. iPhone or Android, then it is time to proceed and start talking to consultants.