Not so long ago, it was perfectly okay for businesses to have a website to satisfy their customers. However, even as the action shifted from desktops to laptops and then to handheld devices like tabs, phablets, and mobile phones, it became apparent that the run-of-the-mill website would not suffice to meet the demand of the new generation that seemed to be always on the go. Website developers tried to live up to the need of users to go online on hand-held devices with responsive web design, however, it soon became apparent that they desired added functionality and simplicity that could only be met by mobile apps. Today with over half the internet traffic being generated by mobile phones, it is apparent that few B2C businesses would be able to satisfy their customers without giving them access to mobile apps. A brief look at how mobile apps score over conventional mobile-responsive websites:
Conventional websites do not display properly on the smaller screens and even if the website has been optimized for mobiles, the surfing experience can often be less than desired because of poor internet speeds. Additionally, there is often too much content for it to be read by users comfortably on their smaller screens. Compared to this, mobile apps perform significantly better and faster due to the different technology. Since the mobile app resides in the device itself, it loads very fast. The data retrieval is also quicker because most of the time, the information does not have to be fetched from a remote server as it is stored locally on the phone itself. Mobile-responsive websites can often experience sluggish performance because they are dependent on data being fetched from remote servers, and thus dependent on the internet speed available. If there is a lot of data transfer and the connection speed is low, the page loading time can be excruciatingly slow, and often the pages can time out. Smartphone users being notoriously impatient are unwilling to bear this kind of performance.
Better Personalization of Content
The more the personalization of the content, the greater the extent of use and customer loyalty! Naturally, users will prefer getting access to content that is customized according to their requirements, profile, and past online behavior. The user experience tends to be more satisfying with the level of personalization is given. Personalization of content can be done across several factors, the more important of them being location, culture, purchase and surfing behavior, and user interests. The technology of mobile apps makes it easier for users to receive a highly personalized user-centric experience. Since users can define their preferences right from the time they download and install an app on their smartphones, they can more easily access custom content. The app also can observe user behavior and engagement and offer content and updates based on their location, and that too in real-time. It is for this reason that users tend to use apps to locate local resources that they need to access immediately. Businesses that offer apps catering to this level of personalization are likely to experience more traffic and sales, according to Big Drop Inc, a leading mobile app development agency.
Easy Access Even When Offline
One of the biggest advantages of mobile apps is that they can usually work seamlessly even in an offline mode. It is because, usually, the apps store all vital data in a way that they can be delivered to the user when offline. For example, many retail, news, finance, and games apps work not in both the modes, online and offline. However, for critical tasks like getting notifications and carrying out e-commerce transactions, connectivity with the internet is necessary. However, all the basic content and functionalities are available to users even when the mobile phone is not connected to the net. As businesses have realized, having an app on the devices of customers can make all the difference at the end of the day in being able to conclude a sale or serve the customer better.
Ability to Leverage the Features of the Device
Among the more useful benefits of mobile apps is that they can usually make use of the various features of the mobile phone like the camera, scanners for reading bar codes and QR codes, etc., for making online payments seamlessly without having to manually enter the data. The apps can also interface with features like GPS so that they can connect with maps and various other services for navigation as well as use the built-in compass, accelerometer, and gyro meter for various applications. Another big benefit of the apps being able to access the features of the mobile device is that there is a significant saving of time required by the user to initiate and take an action. The presence of the app on the phone has the power to transform how users interact with their devices
Ability to Get Instant Updates and Push Notifications
With the help of mobile apps, businesses can send instant notifications to users that they can take advantage of. Users receive non-intrusive in-app notifications immediately when they launch the app on their devices, however, the advantage of push notifications is that users can receive them even if the app remains closed, according to Forbes. This makes it very useful for both businesses and users as they need not keep on opening the apps to receive updates. Additionally, the app itself can stay updated via OTA, so that users never lose out on the latest features. This allows businesses to keep promoting their products and services without being intrusive.
The availability of millions of apps covering every conceivable need testifies to the widespread acceptance of the mobile app by smartphone users. With users spending an increasing amount of time glued to their phones for not only surfing the web but also for carrying out a wide range of e-commerce transactions, it is evident that an app can easily make or break a business. Often getting in first to offer the app can make a critical difference in user adoption.