Are you thinking about building an app? Maybe you have an existing web platform and want to know what the benefits of building an app are to you, and your customer. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Deciding to build an app is no mean feat, and you probably have a plethora of questions.
Read on to discover the differences between mobile applications and web platforms, and the benefits of turning your web platform into an app.
Apps vs Websites – What’s the Difference?
Before considering whether an app or a website is better for your company, it’s important to understand the differences between the two. Both apps and websites are accessible from a mobile. However, the main difference is the way you access them. An application is downloaded from an app store and embedded on your smartphone whereas a web platform is accessed through a browser via a HTML link.
Both apps and websites have their advantages, and figuring out which has more benefits to you relies on a few factors, including; your target market, the end-goal and your budget.
What Makes an App Advantageous?
Extending consumer base
By creating an app, it not only allows you to market to consumers through the web but via mobile too, opening up an entirely new market. Yes, web platforms can be optimised for mobile but an app is specifically designed to be used on a handheld device. This means that you can be where your customers are at all times. For instance, a nail salon may create an app for consumers to easily check and book appointment times on the go. Thus, extending the market on who they can target. With 55% of people citing that they prefer apps over websites due to the convenience they offer, mobile applications are the future.
Because mobile applications are specifically designed to be used on a handheld device, it means that they allow for more user-friendly design than a web page. Apps are optimised for each phone meaning that there is freedom over design. Not only this, but due to the fact that an app is embedded in a user’s phone, it means the icon can easily be navigated without scouring through web pages and browsers. With studies showing that apps are seen as faster, more accessible and easier to browse than websites, it’s not hard to see why.
Push notification marketing
One of the best tools that comes along with mobile applications is the ability to send notifications directly to a user’s phone. In today’s digital world where 95% of UK households own a mobile phone, this is an effective marketing strategy. Push notifications not only increase brand awareness and encourage users to use your app, but you can use them to increase customer loyalty. By sending promotions and offers directly to your user’s phone they are more likely to continue using the app and become a constant user of your product. Studies have shown that push notifications boost app engagement by 88%, and on average 66% of users return to an app within a month when push notifications are enabled.
You may still be thinking “but what’s the point in building an app?”, and to be completely honest, for some businesses this may be true. It may be the case that your website provides just enough features that there is no reason to justify building an app – especially when budgetary considerations come into play. Albeit the case, mobile apps provide a wide array of functionalities that web pages just aren’t capable of. For instance, apps can function without any internet connection. This is a major benefit to companies looking at offering their service offline. Additionally, apps allow users to access device-specific functions such as GPS, screenshot and camera straight from the platform. Think about what your user wants from your product and weigh up the pros and cons.
App store optimisation (ASO) and search engine optimisation (SEO) are the processes of improving ranking to appear higher in search results. The main difference being, SEO is about ranking a website. Meanwhile, ASO is about ranking an app in the app stores. When done well, ASO and SEO work hand in hand to bring your customers to you. By turning your website into an app, you have the added benefit of using app store optimisation, alongside the fact that it even helps your website to rank higher in the Google search results. Optimising your product is a very important step in building any app or website, and ASO is an added benefit that comes with a mobile application.
Building the Platform for You
When deliberating the idea of building an app, the real question you need to ask yourself is “what is the point?”. What is the purpose of your product, and why is it useful to your user? If your product is designed to be used at a desk on a laptop, then maybe an app isn’t something your customer will benefit from. On the contrary, if your company offers a service that would be useful on-the-go then an app may be exactly what you’re looking for. Like any business conquest, you must think about your consumer and what they are looking for in your product.
Mobile applications come with a whole host of benefits, so put your thinking cap on and weigh up what the advantages are to you and your user.
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