Over the last few years, responsiveness has become such a standard feature on websites that designers and developers rarely make a fuss about it. When you visit a site on your phone, you can safely assume that the content will work properly, and it’s hard to find examples of modern websites which don’t adjust themselves to work across devices. While a mobile website is essential, though, few businesses will think about the idea of an app. To give you some insight into this market, this post will be exploring some of the elements which make a mobile app better than a responsive website.
Before delving into the benefits of a tool like this, though, it’s crucial that you have an understanding of the differences between the two. A mobile website is a stripped back and minimal version of a regular desktop site, often lacking videos, animations, and other interactive content. It will usually run on the same server as the regular desktop site, but there are several methods which are used for this. An app is a stand-alone piece of software which runs on your phone, replacing the browser which you’d usually look at sites from.
So with this in mind, here are 9 reasons a mobile app is better than your website.
#1 – User Preference
When you think about the time you spend on your smartphone, it’s likely that you’ll find that you spend a vast amount of time using apps. Social media, online shopping, and an extensive range of communication tools exist in app form, and this makes it just about impossible to avoid using them. Research has shown that users will spend around 90% of their smartphone time using apps, rather than a mobile website. This indicates that people would instead use apps, while also opening the doors for you to take advantage of a trend which could give your business the chance to gain a lot of popularity.
#2 – Brand Alignment
Getting a mobile app onto the Google and Apple stores isn’t as easy as a lot of people assume. Both of these platforms work hard to keep the apps which they offer up to the right standards, and often reject those which don’t follow the rules. Once you find yourself on an app store, though, it is far easier to convince people to trust you, with these big companies acting as a buffer between you and the public. Being able to align your brand with ones like this can provide a host of benefits, from improving your reputation to giving you greater reach.
#3 – Low Competition
Building an app is an expensive and time-consuming process, with a lot of companies merely ignoring it as an option. This makes it hard for small businesses to afford a tool like this, leaving barely any competition for you to come up against, and making it easier for you to stand out. There are millions of websites across the Internet, with vast amounts of them turning up when you make a search. Mobile apps aren’t the same as this, though, allowing you to get your voice heard without having to shout. Some businesses will be happy to find that they have no real competitors on the app stores they choose, making life a lot easier when it comes to marketing.
#4 – Increased Conversions
When you’re looking at ways to market your business, it makes sense to look at the numbers behind the options you have available, as some are far better than others. Typically, a product sales app will generate as much as 3x the amount of conversions of a mobile site, and this sort of trend can be seen with other types of mobile app, too. Cart abandonment is a big problem for online retailers. Customers will often leave the website they’re on simply because they have to fill out extensive forms, though apps don’t force you to do this, making your customers happier as a result.
#5 – Work Offline
The internet has become a crucial part of modern life over the last few years. When left without this tool, a lot of people feel lost, being used to having access to all of the information they could need at their fingertips. As a business, you can’t rely on your customers having constant access to this resource, despite its importance. Having a mobile app can mitigate this issue, as they don’t need an internet connection to work. This is excellent for information-based apps, as it gives them the power to serve users all the time, rather than when they have got a signal.
#6 – Leverage Device Capabilities
Smartphones are often described as small computers, with many of the components which make these devices also being in laptops and desktops. Along with the features which a typical PC offers, a mobile device will also have access to things like GPS, cameras, and an array of different sensors. A mobile site can’t leverage this like an app can, with something as simple as forcing the screen to change orientation being impossible with a website. Touch screens also play a substantial role in separating mobile sites from apps.
#7 – Retention Rate
When a smartphone user installs an app to use once, it is doubtful that it will be removed after the job is done. Most phones have ample storage space, giving users the ability to store loads of apps without running into issues, and this means that you could end up with a customer for the life of their phone. You can send push messages, store user data, and brand your app to make it instantly recognizable, making it far easier to retain customers who would usually go somewhere else to spend their money.
#8 – Improved User Experience
User experience has become a broad field since the dawn of smart devices. The way that your users interact with your content can shape the way they feel about your business, with poorly made websites being an easy way to push people away. The ease of use, speed, and customizability of a mobile app can solve this, giving your users a far more pleasant experience than relying on a website alone. This can be further improved with the array of different features an app can have.
#9 – Speed
A lot of the world’s internet users rely on mobile networks to do most of their online work. With a standard mobile website, desktop content often has to be loaded alongside the minimal version which you will see, making it incredibly slow. As a stand-alone app, you will have the opportunity to create something which is far faster, using the phone’s hardware to its full potential, instead of being restricted by the browser being used. You can work to speed up a mobile website, though an app will always have the edge in this area.
Mobile apps make a lot of sense for an array of different businesses. While it can cost a good deal to make something like this, the return on your investment has the potential to be far most significant, making it well worth going through this process.
As time goes on, apps are set to dominate the online world, with websites serving to provide information and little else. It’s a good idea to get yourself ready for this shift.
How about we help you make the switch?