Websites are great aren't they; I mean you're looking at one right now. They’re a proof of your business’ existence and your virtual shop window to the world. They can flesh out your services, your team; sell your products and be a portal for others to join. For many companies in the last twenty years or so, you needed a website to quite simply be relevant. So why do you now need an app?
The Future is Mobile
Times, they are changing, and you’re now just as likely to be reading this on a tablet or phone screen as you are on a computer desktop. In fact a 2016 Ofcom report showed that 2 thirds (66%) of UK adults* go online using their mobile device and similarly a survey of American web habits** showed that 56% of web traffic is driven by mobile visits.
Now, these people are still essentially visiting ‘websites’ on their mobile devices and this highlights how important it is to have a responsive, version of your site up and running. But hold on - I hear you cry, “surely this means I just need a responsive site, not an app!” However this information is actually showing us that people are more likely to interact with brands on their mobile devices than their computers. And here is another pivotal statistic - people spend a whopping 90% of their time on their mobile devices using apps, and only 10% on the web.***
It’s not hard to see why. Apps are optimised for the device they’re on, making them convenient, easier to use and faster to access than their website equivalents. People more often use mobile devices over a computer to check things out online, and they prefer to use apps over using their mobile web browser(s).
The Cherry on Top
It’s also pretty important not to forget that there are quite a few unique things an app can do, that a website can’t. An app has the advantage of being on something most of us can't live a day without - our phones & tablets. Apps come with us and they can use location to trigger relevant alerts, like when you're close to a nearby store or point of interest. Apps can send push notifications to tell us about updates, upcoming events or new products. It’s useful information and little nudges like this, that encourage interaction with your business. Having an app is giving your customers a truly useful and engaging avenue to your brand.
Let's demonstrate the usefulness of an app with an example. Imagine you were visiting an estate agents website, you see a property you like and you have to copy down the phone number to dial the agent to book a viewing. Once that's done you then have to copy down the address and input it into your sat-nav so you can find the property. It’s not too stressful to do all things. However if the estate agent had an app, there could be a button to make a booking (call) directly from the property page and another button to put the directions into your phones map app. Push notifications could then be used to remind you when your viewing is coming up. It’s these little things that makes the user's life easier and makes apps so appealing.
Websites are great, and they’re still fundamental for a businesses to have. However apps are really great, and they can open up doors to greater interaction with your clients than ever before. That's why you should probably consider getting yourself an app…