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Apps vs. Websites

6 Videos
Introduction 00:53 Mobile App or Website? 05:18 Making Sense of Mobile App Stats 04:34 Case Study 1 - Digital Detail Aid 03:45 Case Study 2 - Employee Onboarding 03:19 Conclusion 01:59
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Apps vs. Websites Part 3: Making Sense of Mobile App Stats

15 views • June 08, 2020

Apps vs. Websites
Part 3: Making Sense of Mobile App Stats

 

In this video, we take a hard look at statistics about mobile apps. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt, because almost all of them apply to consumer apps! Enterprise applications... not so much.
Transcript Before discussing mobile app development any further, I just wanted to take a minute to address internet statistics on the subject.
Imagine a company's marketing team. They're meeting to discuss a proposed digital initiative. Beforehand, they do some preliminary research. They hit Google pretty hard, and they come up with all kinds of infographics and statistics.
The problem is there's a crazy amount of data out there presented by all kinds of think tanks and thought leaders. And the reports get bounced across the internet and places like, well, places like here. The numbers may be technically correct, but it's not always clear what they mean.
For example,
your marketing team comes across a chart, which boldly proclaims that app downloads are increasing year over year. 178 billion in 2017 projected to reach 258 billion in 2022.
At the same time, another colleague presents data showing that over 50% of US smartphone users don't download any new mobile apps each month.
At first,
this may seem odd until you realize that the first set of numbers you're looking at is users worldwide and the other is for the US only. Which of these stats you choose to present can radically change the decisions made by your firm. Mixing stats from a few more articles, and the picture, becomes even more murky.
Take, for example,
an article that offers 25 mobile app usage statistics to know in 2019. It says that mobile users are spending 87% of their time in apps versus just 13% on the web, which is a remarkable statistic.
Based on these numbers alone,
some might rush to the conclusion that their firm has to build an app. Be careful, though. This is not a straightforward comparison of what we generally guard as websites and apps, because the most popular websites will also usually build their own app for mobile devices.
In other words, on mobile,
the most popular websites usually are apps. In the US, out of the top 10 apps installed on mobile devices, eight have an equivalent mobile responsive website.
For example,
according to Hootsuite, 95% of actual visits to Facebook are made on smartphones and tablets. Yet the Facebook mobile site is very similar to the app. The app is just a little bit better. But because it's a site that users visit so frequently, downloading an app for that little bit of extra convenience is worth it to them.
For a service that a user may only use once or at most a couple of times, going through the trouble of downloading an app just isn't worth it. They'd rather make do with the website to say, order a replacement drive belt for their washing machine.
Before you create an app or have one made for you, consider what your users want to do.
If this is a digital tool to help with your business, how do you see people using it? Why is this useful for them?
It's not like you're designing the next Angry Birds. For most businesses, this simply isn't the game they're playing.
On the other hand,
a study by Comscore found that even though users spend more time on apps, mobile websites tend to capture larger audiences. In other words, there are more unique visitors on the mobile web.
Our phones are a key element in our day-to-day lives. Americans check their phones once every 12 minutes on average.
Many of us feel anxious when we don't have access to our phones for any reason. We left it in the car out of cell range, dead battery or the memory is full. There's even a new word for it. Nomophobia.
Our phones are a personal expression of who we are. So much so that 21% of 18 to 34 year olds said they have deleted an app because they didn't like the icon. That's getting personal.
These things help explain why we're so protective of our devices' resources, like storage space, wireless bandwidth. Both of which strongly influenced whether we install or keep an app.
The average app only lasts on a device for 30 days. All these stats and facts are interesting. They can also be overwhelming when you're trying to decide whether to build an app or not.
So here's the thing. If your company is considering building an app,
these stats may not be relevant at all because they generally deal with consumer behavior. But if you're considering building an app or a website in the business-to-business space, your users' adoption considerations will be very different. And if you're thinking about an internal enterprise app, then go right ahead and issue that purchase order.
In the next few videos,
we'll be looking at the user benefits and technical considerations when choosing to make a mobile app versus a responsive website. Regardless of what the stats say.
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