Smartphone usage is at all time highs and only growing vs desktop or laptop computers. Businesses have been quick to react to the change and get websites that are responsive to mobile. Mobile-friendly websites just mimic the mobile appearance, but not its abilities. This fine line is easily noticed by users, where the trend to prefer the users focus shifted to mobile apps over mobile-friendly websites, leaving companies to prefer the mobile app along versus the mobile-friendly website. Here we showcase how mobile apps enable true mobility over mobile-friendly websites or responsive websites.
Trends That Predict the Future of Mobile Apps
The demand for enterprise mobile apps is very high, and some heated arguments, like "The Mobile Browser Is Dead, Long Live The App" are debated, such is the demand mobile apps are gaining over time. Below we list the stats that proves why mobile apps are preferred, compared to mobile friendly websites, despite the advantages mobile-friendly websites have:
- The total number of smartphone users is estimated to be 6 billion by 2020 and the worldwide consumer expenditure on mobile apps is about to range $74 billion by 2020.- CNBC
- The globally the total number of mobile apps downloads are expected to be 352.9 billion by 2020. Statista
- Mobile apps offer better engagement rates compared to mobile-responsive websites, including 100 percent to 300 percent higher conversion rates. Tech Crunch
- Neuroscience researchers have discovered that delayed mobile loading times are more physiologically stressful than viewing a horror film- Ericsson
- Consumers are spending more than 85 percent of their time on their smartphones using native apps. Business.com
- 42% of small businesses have built a mobile app. That number is expected to increase to 67% by the end of 2017. Clutch
- It is observed that 90 percent consumer's time is spent on mobile apps.- Flurry Analytics
Mobile Apps Over the Mobile Website
There are many abilities mobile apps have to offer ahead of the mobile-friendly website and here are a few unique features mobile apps can offer:
1. Serve Offline
Like responsive websites, even a mobile app requires the internet. The benefit for a mobile app is it ensures that the user is provided with basic information about the company even if no internet exists, but responsive websites require internet to display any sort of info despite using caching. To provide this feature, mobile apps do back up and synchronize the data whenever an internet connection is available.
2. Better Personalization
In case of websites, the users are forced to have all the data dumped irrespective of user interests. Unlike responsive websites, mobile apps enable users to choose their preference and cater them only the content that is of interest. This way mobile apps offer better engagement, tailored communication, and better personalization.
3. Notify and Connect 24/7
Out of numerous company emails, how many does one click and read? The answer would be disappointing, as the click rates of emails are relatively low. Most company emails are marked as spam in today's world. Push notifications in the mobile app are categorized based on the user interactions, preferences and interests. This results in higher user engagement with a mobile vs the mobile website. The critical component is that companies can send important notifications, loyalty programs and connect with the user around the clock.
4. Tailored Branding Experience
The mobile apps let users freely reset the options of the mobile app at their discretion. Users can customize options such as, selecting different types of icons and color schemes, according to their branding and so on. Also, any brand transitions are easier on the mobile app than on a mobile-friendly website.
5. Make Use of Mobile Features
Users can use mobile device features (Camera, GPS, etc.,) effectively to have better engagement with the mobile app. For example, say, clients want to submit reports or field agents want to update some bills, then all they need to do is take a photograph of it and upload to the mobile app. This way, mobile apps can be more interactive and generate enhanced experiences.
Mobile apps have greater functionality compared to mobile-friendly websites, bring agility in presenting strengths of the company to their audience, and serve employees better. But, making the choice on when to go for a mobile-friendly website or business mobile app is purely based on the business strategy. What we've learned here though that is in the long term a mobile app will drive more success for your brand and business.