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Why Choose a Mobile App Over a Website?

Oct 20 2021

app over website

It’s evident that companies are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that they need to embrace a mobile strategy. Not only has the number of mobile-only internet users overtaken desktop-only, but app usage has also surpassed desktop  As a result of this shift, companies are re-thinking their mobile strategies. The major question that they have been grappling with however, is whether a mobile app or a mobile website is the right way to go.

Many argue that you don’t need a mobile app, you just need a website that looks good on mobile devices. Others say that mobile apps have benefits that a website cannot provide. However, when digging a little deeper, there are a myriad of factors that need to be considered before deciding. When it comes to different mobile mediums, it can be difficult to determine where to focus your efforts. We break down the pros and cons of each choice so you can align a mobile strategy that suits your business objectives.

What's the Difference Between a Mobile Website and an App?

Before you can evaluate the benefits of a mobile website vs. an app it’s important to understand the key differences between the two. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on a handheld devices such as smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Android and Blackberry) and tablets.

A mobile website is similar to any other website in that it consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the Internet (for mobile typically WiFi or 3G or 4G networks). The obvious characteristic that distinguishes a mobile website from a standard website is the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface. Increasingly, responsive web design is becoming the new standard for websites that are not only mobile-friendly, but that can scale to any sized device - from desktop down to tablet and handheld smartphones.

Like any website, mobile websites/responsive sites can display text content, data, images and video. They can also access mobile-specific features such as click-to-call (to dial a phone number) or location-based mapping.

Apps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on your mobile device, rather than being rendered within a browser. Users visit device-specific portals such as  Apple’s App Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World in order to find and download apps for a given operating system.

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Main Reasons to Choose a Mobile App Instead of a Website

Recent statistics show that 90% of mobile users’ time is spent on mobile apps, while only 10% is spent browsing websites.

Why? Because mobile apps are simply much more entertaining and offer more possibilities of interaction as a website.

Mobile apps offer better personalization

Personalization aims to offer tailored communication to users based on their interests, location, usage behavior, and more.

With mobile apps, it’s easy to treat users with a personalized experience. Using a mobile app A/B testing tool, you can also test out different experiences for your customers.

Mobile apps can let users set up their preferences at the start, based on which users can get served with customized content. Apps can also track customer engagement then utilize it to offer custom recommendations and updates to the users. Furthermore, they can also identify the location of the users in real-time to provide geography-specific content.

However, improving user experience is not the only purpose that personalization serves. It can also help improve the conversion rate of apps.

When users get pampered with personalized content, they have a higher chance of converting as it offers a human touch—opposed to generic content that seems rather robotic or automated.

Personalization is about offering tailored communication to users based on their interests, location, usage behavior, and more. With mobile apps, it’s easy to offer users a personalized experience. Mobile apps can let users set up their preferences when they have originally downloaded the app, and customize it to suit their needs. Apps can also track user engagement, and use it to offer custom recommendations and updates to the users. Furthermore, mobile apps can also identify the location of the users to provide geography-specific content such as special promotions or deals at a particular store location.

time spend in apps

Making use of mobile device features

Mobile apps have the advantage of utilizing features of a mobile device like a camera, contact list, GPS, phone calls, accelerometer, compass, etc.

Such device features, when used within an app, can make the user experience interactive and fun.

Moreover, these features can also reduce the efforts users would have to make otherwise. For instance, users completing a form on a banking app might need to submit their photographs to complete the process. The app can enable users to use their mobile camera to capture and submit photographs.

The interrelated features significantly shorten the time taken to perform a particular task in an app and boost conversions.

User Preference

Last year, the total number of app downloads was record-breaking 197 billion. Moreover, modern users run whopping 9 apps daily on average and spend 90% of their total mobile time in them.

These numbers speak volumes about the immense business potential of apps as a channel for customer acquisition and driving revenue. People simply prefer downloading and utilizing apps.

Websites might be effective tools for initial awareness and engagement, yet they fall short in later funnel stages, where apps prove their worth and spur better retention rates.

Effective Monetization

Fostering such a swell experience tends to bolster app revenue streams. Notice that nowadays, free apps are all the rage. They cost nothing to download, yet act as money-making machines.

Their amazing financial performance is partly thanks to product quality, but also sophisticated monetization tactics championed by brands like Appnext. There is no shortage of options to re-engage users and do it at the perfect moment.

It is possible to work wonders for bottom line with actionable ads, UA campaigns, and promotional videos without taking anything away from UX.

Easier Communication

Among other things, apps serve as an excellent communication platform. While open and click rates of other channels are declining, they are soaring. After all, they come integrated with more user-friendly features like push and in-app messages.

These utility staples allow brands to instantly interact with consumers in a less intrusive manner. In-app notifications are the best proof as they appear only when users run an app, showing certain intent.

Push notifications kick in regardless of actions, but even they have respectable click-through rates— 40%.

Instant Online and Offline access

One of the main distinctions between mobile web and apps is the ability of the latter to work offline. Yes, most of the products require internet connection, but basic content and features usually still function without it.

Take the example of banking apps that do tax and installment calculations even when in the offline mode. That means brands can deliver value to consumers at any point in time.

All mobile apps offer instant access by a tap. They allow users to consume their content quickly offering seamless experience via storing vital data that can be accessed offline too. Some apps like banking, storefronts, retail, finance, games and news work both online and offline. i.e. loading a news item or a game that can be read or played without internet connection is just wonderful.

Ability to work offline is the most fundamental difference between an application and a mobile website. While apps need an active internet connection to perform critical tasks like payments and notifications, but they still offer basic content and functionality to users even in offline mode. And that’s what makes all the difference between a sale and a bounce.

Why Choose a Mobile App?

A mobile app offers incomparable brand immersion. Consumers are preferring mobile-centric solutions, and they’re not afraid to engage mobile apps, SMS, or mobile email to get them. In fact, solely mobile solutions are incredibly effective. 50 percent of United States consumers buy goods and services immediately after receiving a branded QR code, text, or discount. Buyers are sticking to their local devices for brand support.

A mobile app can power a business’s loyalty program. It can also engage users on deeper levels. A restaurant, for example, can increase consumer interaction by creating a food pairings app. Another company can create a mobile payment app to ensure total platform cohesion. Each year, smartphone security increases. Each year, consumers turn to their devices for browsing, purchasing, and payment. MMS, too, is changing the mobile app game — and companies are drawing users into their purchased apps via rich multimedia.

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