Websites and mobile apps both offer unique advantages to companies. To maximize their outreach, businesses need to effectively employ a robust strategy for both mobile apps and websites. But when it comes to responsive design and optimized customer experience, mobile apps seem to have an edge over websites. Let’s use this article to discuss whether you should go with an app or website to deliver an improved customer experience.
The Mobile Era
We live in a mobile-first era.
There are more mobile users today than there are desktop users. Studies also show users prefer mobile apps over websites. With the rollout of 5G and increasing IoT devices, the number is only going to increase in the coming years.
Thanks to the rise of smartphones, in only a few years, the internet has shifted from almost exclusively desktop-driven to mostly mobile-driven.
As per GSM Intelligence, there are 5.22 billion unique mobile phone users in the world. Moreover, smartphone users are growing at an annual rate of 7%, meaning 1 million new smartphones are coming into use every day! This shows the scope that mobile apps have. Having a mobile app development strategy then becomes a core functional requirement for businesses.
Impact of Mobile Apps on Customer Experience
Typically, mobile apps offer a faster and more responsive experience than websites. Here are a few ways of how mobile apps can impact the customer experience –
- More interactive and engaging
Mobile apps integrate various features that allow users to interact with specific components. Instead of looking at the same text and images, users can view more interactive and engaging content.
- Customization and personalization
Mobile apps allow users to customize their preferences to suit their needs. Apps can also keep a track of user engagement and use data insights to offer custom recommendations, thus making the app more useful.
Businesses can utilize apps to send tailored notifications to customers based on various demographics like interests, location, and behavior, etc. Customization can prove to be a great asset for organizations in delivering value. It can have a positive impact on engagement, conversion, and open-rate.
- Higher speeds
Mobile apps are usually faster than websites. Since apps store data locally on the device, they can retrieve it swiftly. Apps can further save users’ time by saving their preferences and taking proactive actions on users’ behalf. Higher speeds can lead to a delightful user experience.
- Intuitive and immersive
Mobile apps usually offer a more intuitive user interface. This enables the users to become more immersed in the mobile experience. Moreover, mobile apps can offer certain functionalities and characteristics as per a specific operating system.
- Leveraging device capabilities
Since apps are installed on user devices, they can access and use the built-in device features like GPS, location, gestures, or camera. This can lead to a more convenient user experience.
- Designing freedom
For designing a website, there can be a lot of restrictions since it depends on browser features like ‘refresh button’, ‘back button’, or ‘address bar’. This is not the case with mobile apps as they do not have any design restrictions.
There can be elaborate functions and gestures like ‘swipe’, ‘drag’, ‘pinch’, ‘tap’, or ‘hold’, etc. These gestures help improve app functionality and user experience.
- Offline functionality
Although many apps require internet connectivity, mobile apps can run in offline mode as well. The apps can offer content and functionality to users even without an internet connection. Since this enables customers to access information anytime and anywhere, it leads to improved customer experience.
- Push notifications and real-time updates
The ability to send instant and non-intrusive notifications is a big reason why organizations look at building an app. These notifications not only increase customer engagement but also help businesses promote various products and services.
Impact of websites on customer experience
Here are a few ways of how websites can impact the customer experience –
- Wide availability
Many times, mobile apps are available on specific platforms. However, websites can be accessed by anyone and from any platform as long as there is an internet connection available. However, the customer experience is affected by the network quality and speed.
Although cost-effectiveness has less to do with customer experience, it can be an important factor to consider for organizations.
Unlike mobile apps, users don’t need to spend time installing or updating newer versions of websites. Since websites are easy to fix and update, most customers don’t even notice the update process. This leads to enhanced experience.
Mobile App Vs. Website – Which one should you choose?
As discussed above, mobile apps appear to have an edge over websites when it comes to customer experience. However, the right choice for your business will ultimately depend on your business objectives.
If your goal is to offer content to a wide range of people then a website might be the right choice for you. However, if you want higher engagement from customers, then a mobile app presents itself as a better option.
Moreover, if you have the budget then you may also decide to use both mobile apps and websites in conjunction. You can then take a two-pronged approach to improve customer experience.