What are the advantages of mobile app over websites - read the top 6 benefits.
You’ve probably put a ton of effort (and budget) into your website — who hasn’t? If you sell products online, your site has to be killer: fast, intuitive, beautifully designed, easy to navigate, and state-of-the-art.
Today it also has to be mobile-first.
Why? Because your customers are. Mobile has taken over the web – driving more than 56 per cent of visits to retailer websites. But here’s the thing. Those mobile visits convert to sales at less than half the rate that desktop visits do.
For that, you can blame the mobile web. When it comes to buying things, the experience on mobile websites feels pretty dated. Responsive technology may have improved things, but websites are still built for desktop by default. And it shows.
The version of your site smartphone users see is often slower than it should be, the navigation is less optimal and the checkout is longer and less on-the-go due to form-fills and logins. Your average mobile shopper won’t have it. They give up in frustration and flee.
That’s one reason why e-commerce apps have been on the rise for years now. They make mobile shopping a breeze, which is probably why their numbers are growing at an annual rate of 54 per cent — the highest in any app category.
If you’ve ever wondered just why so many brands are launching ecommerce apps of their own, read on. We’ll explain the six advantages of apps over websites, with insight from brands using them to boost conversion, raise AoV, and increase sales.
Six advantages of apps over websites
01 Mobile is beating desktop
Mobile internet traffic inched past desktop for the first time in 2018, making up 52 per cent of all website visits. Since then, it's just kept on growing. Today it beats desktop by 60 per cent to 31 per cent.
Mobile shopping is now the number one driver of e-commerce growth globally. By the end of this year, mobile commerce will be behind 54 per cent of all online sales. Since 2016, sales made on mobile devices have risen by 33.8 per cent annually. By the end of 2021, mobile sales revenue will have grown by 22 per cent to hit the $3.55 trillion mark.
But don’t take the data’s word for it. Hear what other eCommerce brands have to say.
“Our data was telling us that 70 per cent of our shoppers were mobile. We knew we had to launch our eCommerce app,' said Tori Thompson of BigBrandWholesale. ”
02 Apps generate more sales
Mobile market analysts Criteo say businesses that launch an e-commerce app typically see a 53 per cent rise in mobile revenue. Retailers who pair a mobile website with an e-commerce app see revenues shift quickly from one to the other, with apps grabbing up to 70 per cent of mobile sales.
Apps’ also have a proven ability to convert more visitors to buyers. In the US, e-commerce apps drive three times more conversion. In APAC, conversion rates can be six times higher with an app — twenty per cent versus the measly three per cent mobile websites alone can muster.
Why do mobile apps outperform mobile websites? It’s because of how wonky they become when you try and buy something on a smartphone.
When responsive web technology re-formats a page for mobile, it tends to clutter up screens with unnecessary info or make things so small that you need to pinch and pull to see what you’re looking for. You often have to jump from one screen to another to complete a purchase. If you haven’t visited the site before, you'll need to input address and payment info. On a handheld device, that's asking a lot of the average shopper.
That’s why the world's leading seafaring brand Gill Marine launched their own app, too:
“We’ve seen the number of mobile transactions increase by 41 per cent since we launched our e-commerce app,’ says seafaring fashions retailer Gill Marine. ‘The conversion rate is about five times higher than our mobile website and even five times more than desktop.”
03 Apps deliver a superior shopping experience
Mobile shoppers have a lot of time for e-commerce apps. For mobile websites, not so much. Research shows that apps capture ninety per cent of the time users spend on their smartphones.
JMango360’s own research shows that app users are also prolific shoppers. They spend more than 200 minutes in any given month buying things on their smartphones, versus around 10 minutes making purchases on mobile websites.
That’s a pretty big gap. Mobile websites just can’t deliver the speed, simplicity and levels of personalization mobile users have come to expect from any smartphone experience. They also lack more advanced e-commerce features like one-tap shopping that most app users now take for granted.
Improving user experience was the biggest factor behind cosmetic brand Jentry Kelly’s decision to launch its own app:
“As our traffic rapidly shifts to mobile, we know we need a user-friendly and seamless mobile shopping experience to increase our turnover and order value. Launching an app was a logical step. - Jentry Kelly, owner of Jentry Kelly Cosmetics. ”
04 Apps strengthen customer loyalty
If a mobile user has your shopping app on their smartphone, they've got your webstore in their back pocket. You can think of your app icon as a tiny glowing billboard. When they want to make a purchase and your app's right there shining up at them, you’re much more likely to be their first choice.
What you get is customer lock-in. Research shows app users are more than twice as likely to come back for additional purchases within 30 days than mobile website visitors.
“Launching our mobile app increased average order value by 18 per cent over the desktop site,’ said Tori Thompson of BigBrandWholesale.. We’re getting 400 extra mobile orders every month, mostly from existing customers.”
05 Apps give you a new direct marketing channel
Loyalty and personalization tend to go together these days as online shoppers get used to brands acknowledging their habits and preferences. More than sixty per cent of smartphone users say they like to see personalized content when they visit a web store, for example displaying products based on previous purchases.
They also like personalized communications. With an e-commerce app, you gain a new marketing channel: push notifications you can use to deliver customized offers and discounts.
The open rate for push notifications is a whopping 60 per cent, while traditional email campaigns get about 20 per cent — even when the recipient is a customer. When a notification message is opened, 40 per cent of people click through to the offer. In emails, it's just above five per cent.
“Push messages are a terrific way to keep customers in the know about new products, increase engagement, and boost in-app orders,’ says Cedric van Dijken, CEO of men’s cosmetics brand The Alpha Men.”
06 Apps improve results for B2B brands too
What's true for consumer e-commerce is increasingly accurate for B2B too. Today’s business buyers tend to be mobile-first millennials. Their expectations for online shopping are being defined by the premium, seamless experiences you get with brands like Netflix and Instagram. That’s moved the B2B e-commerce goalposts.
B2B buyers want the ordering process to be simplified and geared for their needs, accommodating things like straightforward reorders and business-level credit and payment options.
Especially in verticals like hospitality where B2B buyers are time-constrained because of their busy schedules, being able to place orders and re-orders on mobile can improve efficiency and reduce stress — a win-win for both B2B buyers and suppliers.
“I was receiving lots of orders via faxes, WhatsApp messages — even handwritten orders on drinks coasters,’ says owner de Lange Unique Wines. 'The process was taking me and my restaurant customers too much time. Today more than 6 per cent of my B2Borders are now placed in-app. Customers are happy that they can order whenever, wherever, without logging in or going through a lengthy checkout.”
Get your own eCommerce app!
70% of consumers prefer shopping in-app. Put your brand in their hands and drive new revenues with your own e-commerce app. Launched in less than 30 days, fully-featured, for an affordable monthly plan.
Apps are the future of e-commerce, and the now
Want to know more about the advantages of e-commerce apps over websites?
Ten years ago, JMango360 started a mobile revolution, enabling every brand to launch a premium mobile app of their own.
Our easy low-code platform democratizes app development, making it affordable — and fast.
Most of our apps go live in 30 days or less, without cutting corners on premium feel and functionality today’s mobile shoppers demand.
More stories from J-Mango e-commerce
The Ultimate Guide to App Store OptimizationRead more
The 6 Best Mobile eCommerce AppsRead more
How to Build an eCommerce App without Coding?Read more
Native vs. Hybrid vs. Web App: all the AnswersRead more
How to improve your Mobile App PerformanceRead more
6 Tips to Maximize Mobile Revenue for E-CommerceRead more
4 Effective Tactics to Increase Mobile LoyaltyRead more