As mobile applications continue to create exciting and engaging user experiences, many technology experts are starting to wonder if the app will eventually replace the website entirely.
Apps allow for much better engagement with consumers. Besides offering more advanced security options, they also provide opportunities to create additional sources of revenue.
Mobile apps also are usually much less clunky than mobile websites, giving users an intuitive and increasingly pleasant way to navigate to what they need. Apps provide a great way for users to have a more personal experience with the content they’re seeking.
With 86 percent of mobile users spending their time using apps, app developers are certainly doing something right.
Only time will tell if apps replace the old browser-based web experience, but a closer look at how you can boost your ROI with apps provides some insight.
1. Provide Users With Better Security
Apps seamlessly integrate with a device’s existing security system to ensure the absolute best level of encryption. Mobile Device Management (MDM) software is also audited and meets strict security standards that are more secure than a standard website.
Traditional website security, such as anti-virus programs, can get expensive and provide other headaches like bloatware, making them more trouble than they’re worth. Save your current and prospective clients the hassle and utilize all that the app has to offer.
2. Give Them Instant Access
With today’s fast-paced society, people need speed, especially when they have little to no time to browse the internet for the next necessity. Mobile apps can be accessed and provide solutions much more quickly than websites.
Websites must be opened via browsers and can therefore take longer to load, making them more difficult to use when looking for answers fast. Although many mobile sites don’t work offline, websites frequently run into the same problem. Your app can work around this by making content available for local downloads and instant access. Websites can be viewed offline, but most are at the mercy of their browsers.
3. Make It Personal
Is your app customizable for the user? Mobile apps usually prompt users to login and setup preferences from the outset. Set up your app to track user engagement and use this data to offer custom suggestions and updates, introducing your users to other relevant products or services you offer.
Apps can also log important information, such as user location, to help provide your user with geographically based content. The more customized and personal the experience, the higher the conversion rate.
4. Engage With Them
Your app boosts current and prospective client engagement. There are two factors that allow apps to be a more immersive experience for users. Not only do they run within their own interface, they often have a unique icon on the home screen of the mobile device that allows the brand to become more integrated with each user’s behavior.
Notifications and badges on this icon help keep users returning to the app to see what they’ve been missing. Websites rely on user interaction to deliver notifications, just as apps do, but the method of delivery is typically in the form of an email. This places an extra obstacle between the user and the desired content, which interrupts engagement. Your app can draw a user in with nothing more than a passing glance.
5. Add Features
Besides push notifications and badges, apps are compatible with a device’s hardware and software, which add integration with address books, audio recordings, device vibration, cloud sync, and offline access and caching. This results in more functionality than mobile websites can offer.
Include special features in your app that users can utilize instead of opening multiple apps to serve one overarching goal. If you sell cooking supplies and/or cookbooks, make select recipes accessible within your app and include a timer. When your app is multifunctional, you’ll find more people downloading and using it, leading to a higher conversion rate.
6. Add Sharing Options
Most consumers and business professionals are hammered with a deluge of email, which can greatly diminish the effectiveness of engagement. Mobile texting, sharing, and posting, on the other hand, offer opportunities to communicate with users in a less-intrusive manner.
Depending on the app, push notifications are powerful tools, resulting in click-through rates of up to 40 percent. While websites can be shared via many of these same methods, they are often limited to the browser’s sharing capabilities.
7. Make It Integrateable
Apps that connect to other apps or services can make the experience of using the program more interactive and fun. The more integrations your app has, the more widely it will be used. Suppose, for example, that you could use an app to add a preferred photo to your new driver’s license.
You could take 50 selfies and find one you actually like as opposed to having to accept a horrible washed out one taken by a clerk at the local DMV. The ability to use your device’s tools gives apps a significant advantage over websites.
8. Put Time Into the User Experience
Users can move faster when they don’t have to use a browser. Make sure your app is designed to move your users swiftly through the interface using gesture-based interactions and more intuitive controls. Even mobile websites are only as user-friendly as the browser with which they are viewed.
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9. Brand It
Since apps are different from websites, they offer an opportunity to try out new branding experiences. Companies can experiment with new branding styles which differ from those found on a corporate website. Apps provide new and exciting possibilities to existing brands. When your app successfully identifies a need and fills that need adequately for the user, the value of your entire brand rises.
In terms of pure, simple, and unfettered content consumption, websites will always have a place. But as the app continues to become more ubiquitous across all digital mediums, it already has become the more popular option for those who rely on mobile devices to carry them through the day. The benefits and features of your company’s mobile app will provide a stronger bond between your brand and your users, provided you do it well.