Digital Development

To app or not to app: native app vs. mobile site

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Mobile-accessibility is no longer a feature of trendy, tech-related websites.  Today, the average consumer spends more than 2 hours a day on their mobile device.  Having at-the-fingertips access to online content isn’t a luxury – it’s considered industry standard (if your company doesn’t have a mobile-optimized site, click here.) The question isn’t IF your company is going to have a mobile strategy, but WHAT mobile strategy works best. One of the biggest questions businesses have when starting out is:

To App or not to App.

Thinkbound Marketing Solutions is here to help break down the ins and outs of mobile apps and help you discover if an app is right for your small business.

WHAT is a native app?

Short for application, native apps have been flooding the market to the tune of 180 billion downloads from the Apple App store and 65 billion downloads from Google Play.  Apps must be downloaded by the user. This allows companies to push notifications and/or in-app communication with the users without their input.  Apps allow you to connect with your customers directly, making marketing to consumers more seamless than ever before. Companies must submit their app for approval before you can upload it to the app store of your choice.

WHO uses a native app?

The company:
Companies use apps to connect with their customers in real time, without a lot of input on the part of the consumer. Push notifications are generated by the company. These include communication such as locations near by, flash sales, shipping notifications, and much more.  Certain features of apps are functional without the use of data, so information about store hours and location are available to your customers offline.

The customer:
Customers use apps to have easy-access directly to services. Often customers use an app to simplify a process that requires input from them – booking a table in a restaurant, ordering food for delivery, online shopping, scheduling an appointment or class.  Apps create a simplified process that appeals to repeat customers.  Features like saved information, automated payments, reminders and notifications of services create a personalized experience for users.

HOW to get your native app onto the phones of users?

native app

This is where Thinkbound Marketing comes in. We create unique user experiences for companies across many industries.  Creating an app starts with answering a few questions:

  1. How does this app benefit users?
  2. How much profit can you make from an app?
  3. What will your app do that your mobile site can’t?
  4. Who do you want to use your app, and how do you get them to use it?
  5. How does this app benefit users???

Benefit to the user bears repeating.  Your app must meet a need for the user that your mobile site can’t.  While mobile sites often have many of the same features as an app (access to maps, one-click calling, social sharing, etc.) they may not provide the optimal user experience.  Personalization, ease of use, push notifications, digital loyalty, visibility are all parts of an app experience that do not happen with a mobile site.

Still not sure if a native app is right for your company? Call Thinkbound today for a consultation and discover the benefits of an app for your business, and most importantly, for your customers.

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