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Should You Convert Your Web Experience to a Mobile App?

September 20, 2016 | mobile apps

As people spend more time on their mobile phones, it may seem like a good move for your business to convert your web experience to a mobile app. Here are a few important considerations to help you decide if you should make the move.

As people spend more time on their mobile phones, it may seem like a good move for your business to convert your web experience to a mobile app. In fact, US mobile users spend 86%, or 2 hrs and 19 minutes per day, of their time in apps.

According to a report by market researchers IDC and AppAnnie, analysts predict that in-app ad revenues will surpass PC web display ad revenue by 2017. If your goal is to get more traffic and increase your revenues, then these figures demonstrate two very good reasons to build a mobile app.

If you are already exploring this option for your business, here are a few important considerations to help you decide if you should convert your web experience to a mobile app.

The Purpose of Your App

Before you get bogged down in the specific details of how your app will function, you need to look at the big picture: the purpose of your app. Consider the following questions to help you uncover the reasons why your mobile app idea is a viable one.

Do you want to retain the same user experience in the app?

Your goal for creating a mobile app might be to develop a cross-channel user experience for your business. In fact, this is the reason why many brick-and-mortar stores choose to build an app.

For businesses who offer online-only services, Dropbox, Box.com, Airbnb and Google were among the tech companies that started with a website and later added mobile apps for their customers. As a result, you might just use your mobile app to give your users another way to access your business.

Do you want your app to replace your mobile web experience?

You might decide to use a mobile app in place of a mobile website to provide mobile users with a better user experience. Achievion offers the ability to build an app that is nothing but the website wrapped into the native app shell.

There are many benefits to building a mobile app over a mobile website. Mobile web sites can’t track user behaviors, can’t be as tightly integrated with the user’s device and can’t make use of the phone’s other capabilities, such as SMS, GPS, and call features. In addition, the majority of mobile users would rather have an app button rather than a bookmark to a website on their phones.

However, you may also decide to take a different approach by having your mobile app offer different features than your website. For example, Facebook scaled down their web experience, simplifying the features that are available to create a unique mobile app experience. Today, mobile ads account for a whooping 79% of their overall advertising revenues.

Starbucks created an entirely different experience with their app by allowing customers to customize and pay for their orders within the app. Its mobile app now accounts for 16% of the company’s overall transactions.

Identifying Users for Your Mobile App

If you are going to make the effort to build an app, you need to make sure that it will actually be a profitable venture for your business. According to Localytics, roughly 19% of apps are abandoned by US users after the first use. This figure climbs to 25% of apps on a global scale.

This means that you will not only have to make a concerted effort to promote your app and get users to download it, you also have to make sure that they want to use it in the first place. Ask yourself the following questions to help you identify users for your mobile app:

  • Is the audience for your app likely to be the same people that use your website?
  • Are people willing to transition from your website to a mobile app?
  • Is your app really essential or does it offer features that you should really just add to your website instead?
  • What are the specific use cases for your mobile app?
  • What are the app features that are required to make each of these use cases possible?

Costs of Converting Your Website to a Mobile App

Since mobile apps run on different platforms then browser-based websites there will be some additional costs to convert your web experience to a mobile app. If your app will need to integrate with the functionalities of specific devices, such as GPS, or the user’s camera or contacts, you will need to factor that into your budget, as well.

The cost of converting your website to a mobile is generally ranges from about $20,000 to $100,000+. If you want your mobile app to be available on more than one platform (iOS/Android/Windows), there will also be charges for each additional platform.

Outcomes of Converting Your Web Experience to a Mobile App

There are many outcomes that can result from you converting your web experience to a mobile app and they vary greatly from company to company. Although, we already discussed some of the success stories for companies like Facebook and Starbucks, much of your own success will depend on whether or not your app actually meets the needs of your mobile users.

You should keep in mind that your mobile app will need a promotional strategy of its own. As a part of your promotional strategy, you should include an app install banner on your website to get visitors to install your mobile app. These install prompts should only be shown to site visitors who have demonstrated interest by visiting your website multiple times.

Additionally, features that should be a part of your website, such as push notifications, should work regardless of whether the person uses your mobile app or not. Making sure that these features are available will help to address the issue of people have different expectations for your website now that you have a mobile app.

Mobile Apps Fuel Business Growth

Mobile apps can deliver greater operational efficiency for your business. Converting your website into a mobile app is also a viable way of expanding your brand by getting it into the app stores. By taking the time to analyze your reasons for wanting to build a mobile app and why your customers might welcome a mobile app, you can improve your odds of success.

At Achievion, we’ve made it easy for you to get started by offering many options for converting your web experience to a mobile app. Request a free consultation today and let us build a mobile app to help you expand your business.

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