Mobile apps are here and aren’t going anywhere soon. Globally we are now spending the majority of our digital media consumption time interacting with apps over every other form of media, their benefits and impact is evident pretty much everywhere we turn.
As the emergence of more and more mobile applications continue to populate our smart devices, the popularity between apps and mobile websites seems to be a rather one-sided affair. Although the importance of making your website mobile-friendly can’t be stressed enough, it appears that people are now highly favouring the download button, rather than the search engine, to seek your services.
As of July this year if you were to total up the amount of apps available on leading stores it would add up to just under four million, with Google Play (1,600,000), Apple App Store (1,500,000), Amazon Appstore (400,000), Windows (340,000) and Blackberry World (130,000) sharing the respective load. These statistics are and look set to remain as a strong indication of the popularity of Android and iOS in the ever-growing mobile world.
If you think that the above statistic is impressive, then wait until you hear this. In 2014, 179,628 million apps were downloaded worldwide, with 268,692 million apps predicted to be downloaded in 2017. That’s an increase of just under 90 million in only 3 years!
Why this is could be put down a number of factors, yet industry research has identified that the main reasons behind app downloads to is to boost overall convenience, speed and accessibility within users lives. Throughout this blog post we’ll be looking at why consumers are relying on apps as their trusty companions whilst engaging with mobile, and as a consequence why they’re beginning to ditch mobile searching.
A general rule of thumb before deciding between mobile web and apps is that you thoroughly evaluate your business goals beforehand, similar to any marketing activity. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed by handheld devices which means that they’ll instantly appeal to your mobile audience. Before deciding the avenue that your company is going to go down make sure that you carry out thorough research beforehand to know that your time and resources spent on development will cater to your audience. Your product may look attractive but without a dedicated digital following your goals may not be achieved.
Mobile websites are great if you have just begun to establish your web presence. Typically whilst your developing your website you should be looking at your mobile audience (if applicable) and thinking about how they will interact with your site on a smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface.
A native app will allow you to specifically evaluate your main goal and then effectively apply these to your trusty audience. If a user has taken the time (and potentially cost) to download your application then chances are they’re willing to interact with you on a frequent basis. Apps are useful for developing an application for a very specific purpose (i.e, to lose weight, save money, get directions, read news), which will then allow focus your attention on showing them exactly what they want to see.
Consumers have high expectations of mobile apps, with the highest being for their convenience. Mobile devices today act as a centralised hub in which we store pretty much all aspects of our life. Whether this be our online banking, booking flights or ordering our shopping we now rely on apps to coordinate these day-to-day aspects by the click of a button. Apps are designed to be an efficient and simple link between us wanting something and it getting done, without having to venture out of our “mobile comfort zone”. Push notifications within apps also prove to be convenient to the user as they aim to get information to you before you get to them.
While a mobile friendly website will always require an internet connection, with an app this is not always the case. Many apps can store data locally on the phone and you can continue interacting with them even when no connections are available.
If the statistics are anything to go by then mobile is set to remain as the dominant force when it comes to marketing strategies. The “app v web” debate is bound to continue for the foreseeable future and is always going to split opinion, but it’s time that companies begin to look at the facts in closer detail. More people than ever are choosing to interact with apps, of which the quantity of these are multiplying radically, which are then being downloaded more than ever before on an increasing range of smart devices. Mobile sites are important in their own right, but the power of apps is something that can’t be ignored by marketers.
Take a look at all of our mobile app projects here.