Posted in Business
A decade or two ago, companies would include the emergency of having a website on their to-do lists. Later on, they started adjusting their websites for mobile users. And now many of them are forced to think about mobile applications… Moreover, developing mobile applications has become a business with winning potential. When it comes to the debate “a mobile app versus the web”, an insightful glance reveals that the one which provides a more enjoyable experience takes over its competitor.
These radical transformations are no accident. In contrast to mobile web, mobile applications are designed for specific use cases. They provide prompt and effective services that no other software program can accomplish. To name just a few, we use apps to check emails and learn the currency rate, chat and get news updates, sell and buy products, scan documents and even fight mosquitoes!
Mobile apps have already proved to be a conquering product and count for millions on Apple App Store and Google Play. They have emerged and evolved having customer demand and business needs as great stimulators. For customers, mobile applications are always-in-the-pocket companions; apps are designed to make their lives easier by accomplishing one main function. For businesses, mobile applications are effective tools to get in touch with customers in real time, to send important updates right to their smartphones, provide personalized customer support, and promote the visibility of their brands.
Time spent on mobile web and mobile apps
Research still indicates high rates for the web traffic; however, the skyrocketed usage in mobile apps has thrown down the glove to the web. Actually, the time spent on mobile devices has already surpassed the time spent on the web. Business Insider, in one of its articles reports that “people on mobile phones and tablets are using the Web less and less”. In 2013 the time spent on the mobile web was 20%, while mobile apps took 80%. In 2014 the time spent on mobile apps increased to 86%, and dropped to 14% on the mobile web. Consider the trends and data to foresee where the future of the online presence belongs to.
Mobile web versus mobile apps
Having said that, websites and web apps still have several benefits over mobile applications, which cannot be ignored.
SEO - It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in brand promotion and visibility. The website content can be easily made SEO-friendly and enable you to appear on top lines in Google search. In mobile app market, conversely, you can easily get lost in millions of apps and remain unnoticed for your potential customers.
Cost - Website development is inexpensive compared to that of mobile apps; this helps businesses, especially startups, save financial resources. In addition, updates and revisions to the web features and content cost nothing or a little money as opposed to applications which usually require an additional investment.
Portability - Cross-platform functionality is a big issue in the world of diverse mobile devices. Web does not have this limitation and ensures your online presence for limitless audiences. On the other hand, when developing a mobile app, you should consider all of the most widely used platforms not to disappoint any of your customers or prospects.
Yet, two of the disadvantages of the web are use cases and functionality limitations. The web is not customized for specific use cases, and in the result, concedes to mobile apps that target a particular goal. You can visit a website to get an update on weather forecast, but your experience will considerably improve if you use an app that shows this information in an organized and interactive way. We prefer to download Messenger to communicate via Facebook rather than open the Facebook page on a web browser on our smartphones, don’t we? As for the functionality constraints, when you use a mobile application which is designed to increase your reading speed, you will not find its alternative on the web.
Mobile apps bring a vast range of benefits that attract consumers and businesses. Let’s have a look at some of them. Visibility and communication - Once apps are downloaded into users’ smartphones, they are there to stay. What can be a better reminder of your business? They enhance visibility of a brand and create the feeling of being next to your clients.
Contact in no time - Mobile apps enable sending and receiving notifications on important updates right on the screens of our phones. This make them highly desirable if we want to keep track of certain activities.
A potential business - Apps are created not only to assist a business, but are also businesses themselves. Consequently, they pique more interest and create more engagement from investors, developers and entrepreneurs. One download can cost a cent or a few dollars but when the number of downloads is huge, you get a considerable revenue.
A wide scope of functionality - Apps have access to a device’s camera, GPS, microphone, contact list, accelerometer, etc. This is so essential in order to detect a location, a movement or a position which opens wide opportunities of use cases that the web lacks.
Brand perception - Mobile apps are one of the latest innovations, so they help you build a positive reputation for your brand. By developing an app, you point out that you value innovations and are eager to be closer to your audience.
Attractiveness - Graphic design and animations make mobile apps more attractive to users. They grab customers’ attention at first glance and engage them for a longer period of time.
Though mobile application development requires high costs and a considerable amount of time, businesses are forced to think of creating apps because of their rising demand. We want to know our heartbeat rate when we are exercising in the gym. We want a customized interface to check our emails. We want to communicate with our beloved brands promptly and effectively. We want a flawless experience when it comes to listening to music and watching videos… The list is endless, but the takeaway is that mobile apps will surely take over the web if they significantly improve our virtual experience and suggest more sophisticated solutions.
Business practices also come to prove the effectiveness of mobile applications. If they help to engage more customers, enhance promotional opportunities or place effective communication procedures within a company, they have been created to last for long. We will migrate from one platform to another, from one device to another, and from one concept to another unless we get the best experience possible. And if it’s time for mobile applications to take the turn, then we should accept the calling demand of this innovative software.
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