The mobile era has come. The amount of smartphone internet usage has finally exceeded the amount of desktop internet usage. Businesses have been quick to realize the need to establish a strong online presence to be available to the largest part of potential customers. They have built virtual extensions of their offline business places to sell their products and services via mobile applications and mobile websites.
While some firms have a financial capacity to design both a mobile website and application, other enterprises face the need to choose only one of the two options to create. There are many aspects that determine their decision, the primary ones being the cost, usability, functionality and target audience. According to statistics, users give preference to mobile applications over mobile websites. That is the major reason why you need to build a mobile application to reach out to new customers and retain the existing ones. However, that is not the only reason why the advantages of mobile apps overweigh the benefits of mobile website, and if you want to learn the others, keep on reading. Here is the list that will help you understand the advantages of mobile apps and make the right choice.
Since the world wide web has entered our everyday lives, email marketing has been the most widespread method of customer communication. Businesses have sent out lots of promotional emails and often abused it, spamming the customers' boxes with dozens of letters. The outcome has not been long in coming - emails have lost their efficiency and over the recent years have been seeing a decrease in click and open rates. Thankfully, mobile app design have come to recuse. Notifications are a perfect way to connect with your audience. There are two key types of mobile notifications - in-app and push notifications. They offer you alternative ways to reach out to mobile users without intruding and spamming.
The ability to send nonintrusive instant notifications prompts many businesses who wish to grow their client base to design apps for iPhone. What is the difference between in-app and push notifications? In-app notifications can be received only when the user is in the app, while push-notifications can be sent to the user at any time, whether they use the program at the moment or have installed it and totally forgot about its existence. Reports show that push notifications can deliver click-through rates of as much as 40%.
Needless to say, notification campaigns should be thoroughly planned. So you will need some design and marketing experience to get the ball rolling. There are third-party services that help businesses launch notification campaigns too. However, they have many limitations and inconveniences, for example, they do not support all browsers and devices. If these limitations are not significant for your business, you can take advantage of such services.
Design of smartphone applications gives you an opportunity to use the software and hardware features of mobile devices including camera, GPS, contact, accelerometer, flashlight, etc. The usage of these features within the mobile solution can improve the user experience and engage your customers. Additionally, such functionality can be really helpful for users.
For example, a user is completing a questionnaire on a retailing application and needs to submit a photo to complete the form, which they can do using the camera directly within the app. Thus they will not have to open the camera application preinstalled on the device, take a picture and the access it from the gallery to finally upload it to the retailing app.
As you can see, utilising the features of the devices, you can facilitate many tasks performed by the user, which, in its turn, can help you increase conversion rates. It is worth to remark that mobile websites can also use smartphone hardware features like camera or accelerometer. However, mobile website design has limitations when it comes to software and multimedia usage, which is not a problem for a native mobile app.
Ability to work online is the major difference between a smartphone app and a mobile website. You certainly need internet connection to install the application and perform some tasks, but you can also use it without internet access to access some content or functionality. For example, you use an application to make a payment. It offers you such functionality as payment calculation, commission calculation and fine calculation. This functionality works even if your device is not connected to the world wide web. You may say that mobile websites can also be accessed offline, but you will be able only to see the content.
Mobile websites primarily rely on web browsers to perform their functions. They largely depend on the buttons and functions that the browser supplies you with to refresh the page, follow a link or type it into the address bar. Smartphone applications are not restricted by the features of the browser. A native app can support many different actions and gestures, including tilt, swipe, drag, slide, pinch and more. These gestures provide a better experience for the users and make their interaction with the software intuitive. It feels natural to move to the next page by swiping, does not it?
A mobile app is not your company's website - it allows you to provide the users with an entirely new experience. You can design a new branding that will be different from the one used on your website or experiment with business persona, trying to present your business in a new way. As a matter of fact, many businesses change their branding when the design apps for iPhone because it gives you a perfect chance to reimagine your identity. Moreover, a mobile solution has many opportunities for customisation - users can adjust it as they like. This will make every customer feel special. Branding your application can be similar to branding a microsite. A company's microsite that is typically built as a supplementary to your chief website, usually goes under a distinct brand. They are mostly developed to promote a specific event, a new tool or an innovative product.
As statistics shows, smartphone and tablet users spend 85% of their time on the devices in applications, and only 15% browsing the mobile internet. Meanwhile, the year 2014 marked the first time mobile usage has exceeded desktop usage. However, note that, according to studies, people mostly use social media applications and games. At the same time, there is no reliable data on what kind of websites smartphone owners access from their devices. So it is not possible to make an adequate comparison.
An app is a perfect way to boost your conversion rates. You can use your app to attract top-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel marketing. For example, developing a useful application, for example, a translator, you can acquire top-of-the-funnel users and then convert them into bottom-of-the-funnel ones through mobile ads or any other strategy. At the same time, e-commerce or retailing applications are directly aimed at a bottom-of-the-funnel audience with a higher possibility of conversion.
Not every business can afford to design both a mobile application and a website. It is likely that you need to choose between the two options based on your financial capacity and objectives. While both solutions have their advantages and disadvantages, mobile applications can without a doubt pay off faster. They offer more options for customisation, are easy-to-use and provide the customers with useful functionality.
If you have an idea of a mobile solution or a mobile website you want to design, drop us a line. Our experts can consult you on the latest IT business solutions. Our design and development team will be glad to chat with you and discuss any topic related to the digital solutions for your business.