05 Mar MOBILE APPS VERSUS MOBILE WEBSITES – 9 REASONS WHY MOBILE APPS ARE BETTER
So the mobile era is here and the number of mobile users today is greater than the number of desktop users! Consequently, businesses have realized the need to effectively use mobile channels for attracting customers. While some businesses can afford to employ both mobile websites and apps, other companies might have to choose one of them. The choice between mobile apps and websites depends on their cost, usability, required features and the audience they serve. Studies show that users prefer mobile apps more than mobile websites. This makes for a strong reason to have mobile apps for reaching out to potential (and existing) customers.
These are the top 9 reasons:
1. Better Personalization
Personalization is about offering 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. Mobile apps can let users set up their preferences at the start, based on which users can be served with customized content. Apps can also track and observe user engagement, and use it to offer custom recommendations and updates to the users. Furthermore, they can also identify location of the users in real-time to provide geography-specific content. Ιmproving user experience is not the only purpose that personalization serves. Therefore, when users are pampered with personalized content, they have a higher chance of making a conversion.
2. Mobile Device Features Use
Mobile apps have the advantage of utilizing features of a mobile device like camera, contact list, GPS, phone calls, 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 photograph for completion of the process. The app can let users take help of the camera of their mobile device to capture and submit a photograph. The device features can significantly shorten the time users take to perform a certain task in an app, and can even boost conversions.
For the last couple of decades, email has been the most widely-used business communication tool. Businesses have extensively used email to reach out to their users, blut email has lost the effectiveness it once had. Fortunatelly mobile app notifications are here and of two types: push and in-app notifications. They both are exciting alternatives for communicating with app users in a less intrusive manner. The ability to send instant, non-intrusive notifications to users is so desired that it is one of the major reasons why many businesses want to have a mobile app in the first place. In-app notifications are the notifications which users can only receive when they have opened an app. Push notifications, on the other hand, are those notifications which users can receive regardless of any activity they are doing on their mobile device.
4. Freedom in Designing
Even with all the technological advancements in web designing, mobile websites have to rely a lot on browsers to perform even the most elementary functions. Mobile websites depend on browser features like ‘back button,’ ‘refresh button,’ and ‘address bar’ to work.
Mobile Apps don’t have any of these restrictions. They can be designed with a lot of elaborate functions, based on advanced gestures like ‘tap,’ ‘swipe,’ ‘drag,’ ‘pinch,’ ‘hold,’ and more. Apps can use these gestures to offer innovative functionality that can help users perform a task better.
5. Offline Activity
It is probably the most fundamental difference between a mobile website and an app.
Although apps too might require internet connectivity to perform most of their tasks, they can still offer basic content and functionality to users in offline mode. Even though mobile websites can use caching to load web pages without an internet connection, they can only offer limited functions.
6. New Branding Experience
Since a mobile app is distinct from a company’s website, it has the liberty of offering a new branding experience to users. It means that the company can experiment with new branding styles for the app, which can be different from the regular brand style of the company’s website (or the company altogether). Additionally, a mobile app can also allow users to customize its appearance, as per users’ liking. This can further help in the personalization front of the app.
7. Users Spend More Time on Apps
Mobile users spend 86% of their time on mobile apps and just 14% of the time on mobile websites. A point to consider here is that users spend a majority of their time on gaming apps and social media apps.
8. Brand Presence
Users spend a substantial amount of their time on mobile devices. It’s safe to say that many of the users encounter the apps they’ve installed on their devices, almost every day. This regular encounter can be viewed as a branding opportunity for the apps. Even when users are not actively using a mobile app, they are still reminded of the brand associated with the app. The icon of the app acts like a mini-advertisement for the brand that helps influence user’s perception about a brand, subconsciously.
9. Apps Are Faster Than Websites
A well-designed mobile app can perform actions much quicker than a mobile website.
Apps usually store their data locally on mobile devices, in contrast to websites that generally use web servers. For this reason, data retrieval happens swiftly in mobile apps.
Developing both mobile website and mobile app for your business can prove to be a costly affair. You might have to choose one of the two channels, based on your budget and business goals. While both channels have their own pros and cons, mobile apps, especially, can help you get higher conversions. Mobile apps offer greater personalization and operational efficiency, along with multiple other exclusive features.