The Consumer Shift to Mobile Apps over Desktop Websites

by | Dec 15, 2015 | Apps, Web design, Web Development

Our clients often ask us, “Why should I invest in a mobile app? Why shouldn’t my company just focus on a nice, desktop-friendly website that will engage my audience and fall well within my marketing budget?”

The reality is this – 80 percent of today’s Internet users own a smartphone, and apps account for a whopping 89% of mobile media time. This means that your audience – no matter what industry you are in, or which product or service you sell – is accessing a large portion of their media communication via smartphone or tablet.

This is the first and foremost reason why you should invest in a mobile app, in addition to a home base – providing your users with a multi-screen friendly website that optimizes for desktop, smartphone and tablet.

It’s not that large brands like Facebook do not need a desktop site – it’s still a crucial component of every digital marketing strategy – and that won’t change in 2016. However, the scale is now tipping, and the real you should ask yourself is, “Using Facebook as a laboratory experiment, would their brand survive today without a mobile app?”.

We’d argue – Not a chance.

Facebook, and its counterparts, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, survive because of their mobile app – and because every user can stay in tune to its platforms’ communities via their mobile phone at any time of the day. Big brands like Instagram and Vine wouldn’t have made it without a mobile app –their mobile apps are at the heart of their existence, due to easy sharing.

The Power of Mobile

Still unconvinced? Here are a few stats you may want to tuck in your back pocket for 2016:

Mobile is undoubtedly taking over as the most popular way to view online content. This is not only apparent in our social lives, but it’s also crystal clear in the statistical data above.

How, then, do you know if your company needs to invest in both a mobile app and a responsive website? Perhaps you would serve better with one or the other?

Use these rules of thumb to decide whether your brand is more like Facebook, Instagram, or maybe somewhere in between:

  • Is your product an interactive online game like Candy Crush, Hearthstone, or Angry Birds? An app is likely your best option. You’ll probably want at least a landing page, if not a full-fledged responsive website, to compliment your game app.
  • Is your goal to offer mobile-friendly content to as wide of an audience possible on a modest budget? For the near future, you may want to consider a website first, before an app.
  • Are you willing to spend the kind of budget that app creation and maintenance will realistically take? App professionals say, if you don’t have at least $10,000 to budget over the lifetime of the app, reconsider your strategy.
  • Your brand’s digital marketing strategy will have to be responsive, no matter what choice you make. For instance, you will not be able to cut corners by creating a basic website that will not adapt to all screen sizes. This includes smartphones, tablets, and desktops. A website that is not mobile-responsive just won’t cut the mustard, both in terms of user friendliness and customer retention, and in addition, Google’s preferences, that allow you to rank as high as possible in the search engine rankings.

We advise you to use this primer as a guide to your considerations for your brand’s 2016 digital marketing strategy. After a careful review, talk to your app and web developer about your brand’s buyer personas and preferences, in order to make an informed, collective decision on the best development strategy for you.

Ultimately, the most important consideration is your customer. Which avenue provides the most accessible way for him or her to access your brand and its product and services? Is your website and/or app making the access of your products and services easier, or harder on your customer? With the end user’s interests in mind, and a marketing budget in place – you can create a winning strategy with your app and web designer for 2016.

 

 

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NoBorder Productions LLC
101 West Broadway, Suite 300
92101 CA, San Diego