When you start a new business you hope to get far, not just get by. While there’s no single “trick” to coming out on top – and it’s rather about the work we put in over tricks – there are certain practices that keep appearing on the roadmap to success. And once you discover a pattern, you can be sure that it’s not the work of elusive luck. A focus on user satisfaction, carving out a devoted piece of the market, providing concrete utility, catering to the underserved, and an innovative approach to discovering new channels of sales and communication are examples of a few practices that keep recurring in winning strategies.
Well, a digital presence is an absolute must to actualize any of these methods. But what sort of digital presence? Businesses often struggle to decide whether they need a website or an app, or both. While there are a handful of cases where only one of the two is enough, businesses generally need both. A website is a foot in the door when it comes to establishing an online presence, but an app is a surefire way to stay in the living room. It’s how you maintain your presence in users’ daily lives.
Benefits of mobile apps vs. websites
1. Wealth of features
With apps, you can offer users a wealth of versatile features that you couldn’t through a website. Especially if your app would enrich user experience through interactivity of some sort – which users appreciate when done well – a website is no match for a well-built app. Plus, apps are faster than websites as they don’t strictly depend on an internet connection and neither do the native tools and functionalities your users will be eager to engage with.
Though games are one type of app that has no web-based competition, programs that include functionalities like complex calculations, visualization, image manipulation, data analytics, report constructions, etc., also work much better as apps rather than websites.
2. Mobile users spend more time on apps than on browsers
Did you know that in 2021, folks spent 92.5% of their time on mobile using apps and games and only 7.5% using browsers? The trend continued throughout 2022 and is still prevalent now, in 2023. You may be thinking, yes, but people use browsers on their desktop computers. However, it’s been a while now – since 2015, to be exact – that people use smartphones more than laptops.
Why users prefer apps over browsers is, unsurprisingly, similar to why we recommend integrating apps. People prefer apps because they offer more features & convenience, faster speeds, better UX/UI, and are just overall more user-friendly because they’re built precisely to work on a smartphone screen. They’re not just modified to work on it.
3. Direct channel of communication with your audience
When sent at the right time and targeted at the right people, push notifications can truly help a business achieve a boost in sales and user engagement. And while both websites and apps offer push notifications, it’s much easier to secure an opt-in with apps rather than websites. It’s a reflex for most people to reject notifications on websites, but to turn them off for an app you have to do some fiddling and people don’t like to bother.
But it’s not just about what this channel can do for you – it’s about what it can do for the client, too. Push notifications are a great way for users to stay up-to-date on discounts. Apps require you to have more patience in building a relationship with the client – but the fruits of your labor will abound. For instance, you can share news of smaller discounts at intervals, then lock your clients in with a big one. Everyone’s a winner.
Beyond this, apps allow users to feel closer to the business, especially when they can directly reach out to you with any feedback or concern through the app.
Some of our favorite apps have achieved that status thanks to their ability to make it personal – in a good way. From online banking and period tracking to Evernote and social networks, it’s all about making it our own. It’s about getting content that caters to our needs and interests. Personalization is much more easily accessible on native apps than through websites. That’s why personalized apps offer more user engagement, trust, and loyalty.
In short, personalization allows you to gain a regular audience and reduce customer churn rate. For instance, an Epsilon research study indicates that 80% of consumers are likelier to shop with brands that offer personalized experiences.
5. Go crazy with the design
Not literally. But, apps give much more room for creativity in design, interface, and navigation for mobile users than websites. Again, a website can be optimized for mobile, but an app is made for it. With an app, we are free to seek out a unique design that doesn’t have to follow browser “behavior” – you can swipe, pinch, drag, etc., without worrying whether the entire page will go nuts.
With apps, we can combine familiar patterns that make usage easy with innovation that will guide users to the heart of your brand. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
6. Build a competitive brand
Building a competitive brand with an app is a 2-in-1: you unearth a new sales channel and you boost brand awareness. On the one hand, a new way for customers to purchase your goods or services. On the other hand, your brand grows in exposure and authority.
Forbes recently released a list of 16 businesses that need apps to be competitive. And guess what? Every industry is covered. That’s why we develop iOS apps in all sectors: to help you grow your brand, business, and bottom line in profit. A website is important so your business can be found with a single Google search. It’s also a great way to promote your app, especially by boosting buzz and hype before launch. However, to maintain an effective digital presence you want to become a “necessity” for users. And to achieve that, you need an app that users will want to make room in their lives for.