Long-reigning king desktop is dethroned and the mobile era is ushered. As of this year, the global mobile population amounts to 3.7 billion and by 2020, we will reach the 4 billion watermarks.
Amidst the surge, mobile app market is growing exponentially. In the wake of it, businesses are faced with a dilemma whether to use mobile apps or websites as platforms for launching and running their operations.
Those that possess ample funds can opt for both channels, but for most organizations, committing resources to one makes more sense.
The decision depends on the cost suability, desired features, and target audience. Then again, there are some very good reasons to pick apps as your platform of choice.
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.
One of the strongest reasons to go for apps is the fact that web cannot match their personalization capability. Apps can use mobile device’s native features to provide more tailored, faster, and highly intuitive user experience (UX).
This is made possible by drawing data on users’ interests, habits, location, usage patterns, etc. Along similar lines, apps are capable of tracking and analyzing user behavior, which is the key to supplying users with custom updates and recommendations.
Many apps also allow people to set their preferences right off the bat and gain access to customized content that way.
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.
A Powerful Ecommerce Tool
In the ecommerce sector, mobile apps are blowing websites out of the water. They are superior in terms of closing deals with prospects and leads, pushing them faster own the purchase funnel.
It is estimated that they have 3x higher conversion rates than mobile web and 1,5x higher than desktop. In total, more than 40% of people who download an ecommerce app make a purchase afterward.
Why is this? Well, one of the advantages is that apps save user data and spare people the ordeal of filling out credentials every time. The in-app environment enables effortless, one-click checkouts and fast loading times.
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%.
Furthermore, there is a handful of additional smartphone features that give apps an edge. Websites are quite limited when it comes to bringing multimedia to users. They cannot utilize device’s native functions such as camera, contact list, phone calls, compass, GPS, etc.
On the other hand, all these things make the whole app experience more interactive and fun. Thus, apps reduce effort and time needed to perform tasks.
For example, one can capture a photo of a receipt or a document instead of having to write everything down. Similar shortcuts leading to instant gratification abound.
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.
Let us not forget that ever-present app icons keep brands on top of user’s mind. An app is always there on the screen should someone need it.
This brings us to the final point: apps cement brand presence and spread awareness. As we have mentioned, time spent in apps in constantly rising and overshadowing web usage. And every encounter with an app is a chance for businesses to cultivate trust and loyalty.
Over time, these recurring interactions shape brand perceptions and user behavior. Finally, since apps are separated from corporate websites, they can act as a testing ground for different branding tactics. They can deviate from the overall branding style and be a real eye-opener encouraging innovative approaches.
The Next Level
We have fully entered the business age where mobile comes first. Simply put, apps have several vital features and advantages that websites do not offer.
People not only eagerly download them, but their actions are also influenced by them. They are pampered with personalized content, custom features, and tailored environment.
Mobile web is lagging behind and in the near future, it is poised to shrink even further. So, waste no time seizing the opportunity.
Use mobile apps to reach out to new customers and engage existing ones. Nurture a smoother user experience and elevate your brand in 2018.