Apps vs. Web – Is there a happy medium?

Topic: Developers, Retail

Web vs. Apps
Mobile devices have quickly become the go-to for a wide variety of digital services, from sending a text message to completing a purchase. The platform has progressed from another method of consuming content to helping us accomplish more all day, every day.
In the midst of 2016 we’re, now, past the mobile tipping point, with estimates that by 2017 65% of users will be using them to access the internet through their devices (Statista). The desktop is dying and it’s no longer a case of asking if mobile marketing is important – we know it is!
Mobile media time is now significantly higher at 51% with desktop at 42% (Mary Meeker) which is why making moves to mobile in business is so important. So should you opt for a  mobile website or app to improve customer engagement with your brand?
Don’t worry, be ‘appy?
The most famous stat for app usage was that 88% of smartphone activity was spent on mobile applications, with social networks accounting for a quarter of that time, closely followed by games and radio. (Digiday)
But counter that with IAB research, which suggests that only 18% of smartphone users favour apps and you’re left confused, right?
It all comes down to purpose, what are your business aims and goals?
56% of respondents to a 2015 global survey suggested they prefer making purchases from within an app than on a mobile website (Venturebeat)  but yet no payment applications emerge in the list of apps users frequent in that 88% of time. 
69% of mobile users have carried out some sort of banking activity by mobile while 66% have completed a mobile transaction on the mobile web (Venturebeat).
Designed with traditional buyers and sellers in mind, mobile payments, from online payments through to mobile wallets, can be highly profitable, making it even simpler for purchases, donations and actions to be completed via the technology your customers already use, every single day.
Mobile audience growth has been driven much faster by mobile web properties and are now twice as large as app audiences, growing at a faster rate than native mobile applications (Marketing Land).
This means it’s far easier to build an audience on the mobile web than it is via an app.
So, we have a winner…
A mobile website has a number of inherent advantages over apps including broader accessibility, compatibility and cost-effectiveness.
Reach & Accessibility
Mobile websites can be accessed across multiple platforms and easily shared via users through a simple link in an email, social media post or text message or found via search engines, meaning reach is far wider than native apps.
Time & Cost
The development of a mobile website, whether for payments or promotions, is considerably cheaper in time and cost than app development particularly if you want a presence across varied platforms such iOS and Android. A survey of app developers found that the average cost to develop an app was $6,452. Are you going to regain that cost back from consumers by charging for your app?
Immediate & Instant
Accessible via a browser across various devices, a mobile website is instant. Apps require knowledge of their existence through targeted marketing in order to get them to be downloaded and installed in the first instance, and then you have to encourage their use. This presents a barrier between engagement and action.
Designed with traditional buyers and sellers in mind, adoption of mobile within business offers companies the opportunity to increase growth through maximising sales as well as improving engagement across multiple touchpoints.
If you want to make your business a part of the mobile revolution by adopting a tailored Mobile Journey to your needs then contact a member of our team and create one complete end-to-end mobile experience for your customers.