Every company and website, regardless of industry, must have a mobile presence. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.
We live in an increasingly mobile world. Globally, there are four billion distinct mobile users.
Mobile devices account for 52% of all Internet traffic worldwide. In the United States, mobile usage accounts for 65 percent of all digital consumption.
For years, every mobile category has been trending upward, with no signs of slowing down in the near future.
Most businesses and websites have recognized these trends and have responded by making their websites mobile-friendly. Sites that aren’t mobile-friendly can’t exist in this day and age. As a result, this is unquestionably a step in the right direction.
However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that a mobile-friendly website is the end-all-be-all solution. In terms of mobile optimization, you’re only scratching the surface.
The truth is that a mobile app is required to fully optimize your brand, business, and website for mobile users.
Why? According to research, mobile apps convert better than mobile web.
As the graph shows, this statement holds true across all industries. Mobile apps convert at a rate that is 157 percent higher than mobile web.
Those of you who rely solely on a mobile website to drive conversions are passing up a huge opportunity. A mobile app is the only way to maximize conversions.
At first glance, mobile apps and mobile websites may appear to be the same thing. How is it that one platform converts at such a higher rate than the other? Especially when they are accessed via the same device.
In this guide, I’ll explain why mobile apps outperform mobile websites. By the end, you’ll realize how important it is to create an app for your website or business.
1. Improved Personalization
It goes without saying that personalization increases conversions. This is true whether a customer is shopping in-store, online, or through any device.
The best way to personalize someone’s experience is to consider factors such as:
If you want to maximize your conversion rates, you can’t treat all of your customers the same. A 19-year-old girl in Hawaii should not be exposed to the same content as a 50-year-old man in New York City.
A mobile app allows you to collect more information about users in real time. Then, eventually, you can use that information to personalize their experience.
You’ll be able to recommend products or services to users based on their browsing habits or purchase history if you use an app.
Because each unique user can have a profile with their account preferences, mobile apps make it simple to facilitate this. You can use an app to directly ask your customers what they want, in addition to personalizing their experience based on their behavior or actions.
The Spotify app is available for free download and use by anyone. However, Spotify also provides premium subscriptions.
This personalized playlist strategy for users will ultimately improve their app experience. As a result, the likelihood of people converting to paying customers increases.
An app allows users to easily track their spending, view their purchase history, and track their progress toward rewards in your customer loyalty program.
Is it possible to do some of this on the mobile web? Sure. Users must, however, sign in to their accounts. This extra step can be time-consuming, especially when using a 4-inch screen. When users open a mobile app on their devices, they are automatically signed in.
2. Communication is now easier.
Another important factor that influences conversions is communication. There are many different reasons and methods for a brand and a customer to communicate, but they can all be divided into two categories:
- The user initiates communication.
- The business initiates communication.
When you look at things in this light. It’s really not that difficult. An email marketing campaign is an example of business-initiated communication. The user initiates a customer form submission with a question or complaint.
Both of these categories benefit more from a mobile app than from the mobile web. This is why.
While you will do everything in your power to make things as simple as possible for your customers, there will always be times when they require that extra level of service.
Some people will have a question or a problem with a previous purchase or a purchase they are thinking about making. Others will require assistance in navigating or accessing content on your platform. Whatever the reason, you must ensure that you have easy access to customer support.
The most popular method of customer communication is live chat.
While live chat can be made available on your mobile website, the overall user experience is much better when it is integrated into a mobile app.
You can designate a section of your app for customer support. Users can contact you via live chat, email, ticket support, or phone by selecting an option from your menu.
Let us now discuss brand-initiated communication. This isn’t really possible on the mobile web.
You can, of course, have an AI robot or chatbot appear on the page. However, that is about as limited as it gets. The only other way to communicate with mobile web visitors is to have them sign up for emails.
You have the freedom and flexibility to connect with users at any time with a mobile app via push notifications. Email communication is vastly outperformed by push notifications.
In fact, a recent study discovered that push notifications have a 90% average open rate, compared to 23% for email.
Push notifications are useful to 70% of people, and 40% of users interact with them within an hour of receiving them. When compared to emails, push notifications have a 7x higher engagement rate.
A mobile app is the only way to communicate with users via push notifications.
3. Make Use of Mobile Device Features
Because mobile apps are installed directly on a device, they provide you with access to specific features of a user’s smartphone or tablet. I’m referring to features such as:
- Contact lists
This not only makes your app more interactive than a mobile website, but it also simplifies things for the user.
Assume your app requires users to enter a credit card as a payment method. After all, how else will you make money?
A credit card contains 16 digits. This, along with the user’s name, card expiration date, and card verification code, is a lot of information to type on a small screen.
If they make a mistake and the card does not process, the user may become frustrated and abandon the purchase.
A mobile app, on the other hand, can access the device’s camera and allow the user to take a picture of their card as a faster alternative. Uber accomplishes this through its mobile app.
A payment method can now be added to a user’s account in a matter of seconds.
This method eliminates user error and reduces the likelihood of a customer abandoning the purchase process due to frustration.
The possibilities are limitless here. Assume you own a small business with multiple locations. You can configure your app to work with a user’s device’s GPS. This will allow them to locate the nearest store and possibly provide turn-by-turn directions to get there.
Do you want your customers to tell their friends and family about your business? It is simple to share promotion codes or referrals with others by accessing a user’s device’s contact list.
This would necessitate people manually entering phone numbers and email addresses from the mobile web. As a result, they are less likely to go through this process and convert with the extra steps.
4. Access While Not Connected
This is arguably the most significant distinction between mobile apps and mobile websites. To put it simply, users must be connected to the Internet in order to access a mobile site.
If they do not have access to Wifi, they must use data from their mobile plan. Accessing a mobile site is simply not possible if they are in an area with no data service or if they do not have an active data plan.
Many mobile apps may require an Internet connection to perform certain tasks. Apps, on the other hand, continue to provide a wealth of functionality even when users are not connected to the internet.
As an example, suppose you have a banking or real estate app. Users would not require an Internet connection to calculate taxes, determine loan limits, or plan installment payments.
Users may be able to access cached information from previous Internet connections, depending on how your app is configured.
Netflix is the world’s leading provider of streaming video connections. Streaming content normally necessitates Internet access. Users can, however, download videos to their device and watch them later while offline using the Netflix mobile app.
So, a user could download a movie while connected to Wifi at home, then access the content while on a plane, train, or anywhere else where an Internet connection is unavailable or unstable.
Don’t assume that all users will want to use their data plan when they aren’t connected to Wifi. You should also consider people who do not own smartphones.
Every year, approximately 164 million tablets are sold worldwide. The vast majority of those tablets are only available with WiFi. Offline access is therefore critical for users who do not have the option to use data when they are not connected to Wifi.
5. The majority of mobile time is spent on apps by users
To maximize conversions, you must reach out to people on the platforms that they prefer. Looking around, it’s clear that nearly everyone’s gaze is constantly fixed on a mobile device. Even when they aren’t on their phones, they appear to be within arm’s reach.
But what are people doing with those devices? I’ll give you a hint: they’re not on the internet.
Apps account for 90% of all time spent on mobile devices. Only 10% of mobile usage is spent on the web.
People will not convert unless they have access to your content. They are far more likely to access your content through an app than through a web browser.
Why is this the case?
Mobile apps are simply superior. Because they are already installed on a user’s device, all that is required is a click to access information. Driving conversions is all about removing friction from the process; we’ll go over this in more detail shortly when we talk about checkout optimization.
By having an app installed on their device, they have already removed two steps from the process. Users must open a browser, search for your site, and then click on it to get to the homepage of your mobile website.
All they have to do to access your site from an app is click once, and it’s open. This takes only a few seconds.
We have already discussed the advantages of personalization. The user is logged in to their account when they use an app. In contrast, they would have to do it manually from a mobile website.
As a result, it’s no surprise that mobile app usage far outnumbers and outperforms mobile web browsing.
6. improved UX and UI
While a mobile-friendly website is necessary, its functionality is still limited. This is due to the fact that a mobile site relies on web browsers to perform even the most basic functions.
I’m talking about things like the back and refresh buttons. A mobile site cannot be designed to override the functionality of a web browser.
However, with a mobile app, you will not face any of these limitations.
You can configure it so that users can improve their experience by swiping, tapping, or holding down on the screen. This design freedom has the potential to improve the user experience.
In the end, consumers prefer apps to mobile websites. The following are the primary reasons:
The most common response was convenience. Based on this data, we can unequivocally state that apps are more convenient than mobile web.
When things are inconvenient, people do not convert. People will simply look elsewhere for their needs if it is difficult to navigate, access information, or perform basic functions.
However, making everything as simple as possible for users, such as providing a mobile app, increases the likelihood that they will convert.
Refer back to the previous graph to see why users prefer mobile apps to mobile websites. The second reason on that list is speed.
Mobile apps outperform the mobile web. Why?
It’s straightforward. Web servers are used to store information on websites. As a result, it may take a little longer for content to load on a device because speed is dependent on factors such as browser performance, web hosting provider, hosting plan, and server physical location.
A one-second delay in loading time can cost you a significant percentage of your conversions.
Three seconds would appear to be quite quick. However, as evidenced by the infographic above, it is simply not fast enough.
Slow loading times lead to higher bounce rates, abandonment rates, and conversion rates.
The app’s backend performance ultimately results in faster front-end performance for users.
Furthermore, the ability for app users to save their preferences will expedite things, making conversion easier and more likely.
8. Boost Engagement and Retention
Mobile websites lack the ability to generate meaningful engagement. The capabilities are limited, and you are limited in terms of when and how you can communicate with the visitors.
We talked about it earlier when we were talking about communication. A push notification can be used in an app to increase engagement. This is not an option for your mobile site.
Apps also make it easier for you to keep your customers. It entices people to stay active on your app by including features such as a customer loyalty program or a referral program.
When a customer sees that they are being rewarded for their purchases or conversions, it increases the likelihood that they will continue to convert.
If you also give people a reason to refer family and friends, those same people will continue to use the app in the future. It is much more difficult to share content, drive engagement, and increase retention rates from a mobile website.
9. Checkout Enhancement
Checkouts are the pinnacle of conversions. Sure, an action such as a download or opt-in can be used to define a conversion, but checkouts result in dollars.
Checkout apps are designed for mobile devices. Checkouts can happen in a matter of seconds in many cases. This benefit is not available on the mobile web.
There are no shortcuts from a mobile site. A website visitor must locate the product, add it to their cart, enter their payment information, shipping information, and complete the checkout process. This procedure can take several minutes, and there is a lot of room for error.
However, all of this information can already be saved in a mobile app. The user can simply add the item to their cart and complete the checkout with a single click.
All billing and shipping information will be saved to their account. Conversions will skyrocket if friction in the checkout process is reduced.
Previously, we examined data pertaining to mobile conversions in general. However, this graph focuses on eCommerce conversions between mobile apps and mobile websites.
As can be seen, the app outperforms the mobile browser in all categories.
Users view more products per session, have a higher add-to-cart rate, and covert at a 130% higher rate.
10. Improved Branding
Having users download your app is a huge win for your branding strategy.
People are only exposed to your brand when they navigate to your mobile website. How often does that occur? And how long will that last? If you’re lucky, someone will come to your website once a week and stay for a few minutes per session.
People, on the other hand, use their mobile devices all day, every day. They will constantly see your app, brand name, and logo on their screen. This increases their motivation to open your app and convert.
Even if they don’t use the app on a regular basis, they are still exposed to your name and brand. Because your company is constantly on their minds and in front of their eyes, they are more likely to convert in the future.
You must have a mobile-optimized website. However, a mobile website is limited and does not drive conversions as well as a mobile app.
A mobile app is the only way to increase conversions. Here’s a quick rundown of why mobile apps convert better than mobile web:
Apps allow for greater personalization.
It is simpler to communicate with an app.
Apps can take advantage of mobile device features.
Offline access is available for mobile apps.
People spend more time using apps than mobile web browsers.
Mobile apps provide a better UX and UI.
Mobile apps are faster than mobile websites.
Apps increase engagement and retention.
Checkouts are prioritized in mobile apps.
Apps help your branding strategy.
As you can see, there is no debate or comparison. Apps outperform mobile websites in every category. More specifically, all of these metrics point to higher conversion rates.
If you’re ready to take your mobile strategy to the next level, we’re here to help. You can use BuildFire’s platform to create a mobile app to increase conversions.