In the current hyperconnected world, businesses face a critical decision: invest in a mobile app, a Progressive Web App (PWA), or stick with their mobile website. Each option has its merits, but in this blog, we will present a compelling case for why mobile apps offer superior Return on Investment (ROI) compared to PWAs or mobile websites.
Mobile apps are preferred over PWAs and mobile websites mainly because of their unmatched user experience (UX). Apps are built to work seamlessly on a specific platform, taking full advantage of device capabilities like GPS, camera, and push notifications. As per a Comscore report, users spend 87% of their mobile time within apps, indicating the high engagement levels they provide. The result is a highly responsive, visually appealing, and intuitive interface that offers a superior user experience. For example, the Starbucks mobile app provides a seamless user experience by combining mobile ordering, personalized offers, and loyalty rewards. As a result, the company has seen a 15% increase in revenue and 22% more transactions through the app.
PWAs: A Compromise Between Websites and Apps
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a hybrid approach that attempts to bridge the gap between mobile websites and apps. PWAs are websites designed to look and function like apps, providing a more app-like experience on the web.
Advantages of PWAs:
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: PWAs are accessible across various devices and platforms, making them cost-effective for businesses.
- Lower Development Costs: Developing a PWA can be more cost-effective than building separate native apps for different platforms.
- No Installation Required: PWAs are accessible via web browsers, eliminating the need for users to download and install an app.
Limitations of PWAs:
- Limited Native Functionality: PWAs have limited access to certain native device features, such as Bluetooth, NFC, and advanced camera controls. This can be a drawback for apps that require extensive use of these features.
- Offline Functionality: While PWAs can offer some level of offline functionality through service workers, they may not be as robust as fully native apps. Offline access can be limited to the cached content, and complex offline features may be challenging to implement.
- App Store Distribution: Unlike native apps, PWAs do not have a presence in traditional app stores (e.g., Apple App Store or Google Play Store). This can result in lower discoverability and visibility among users relying on app stores for new apps.
- Limited Push Notifications: PWAs can send push notifications, but they are not as feature-rich and integrated as those in native apps. Users may have to grant permission each time they open the PWA, and the notifications may not be as reliable.
- Browser Compatibility: PWAs heavily depend on the browser’s capabilities and support for web technologies. Some older or less popular browsers may not fully support PWAs, leading to inconsistencies in user experience.
- Performance Variability: The performance of PWAs can vary depending on the device, browser, and network conditions. Native apps are often more consistent in terms of performance and responsiveness.
- Limited Access to Native APIs: PWAs have limited access to certain native APIs and device functionalities, such as accessing contacts, calendars, or other apps’ data. Native apps have more extensive access to these resources.
- Storage Limitations: PWAs typically have limited storage capabilities compared to native apps, which can be a concern for applications that require a significant amount of local data storage.
- Less Discoverability: PWAs may not be as easily discoverable as native apps because they lack the visibility and searchability provided by app stores. Users are more likely to discover them through web links or websites.
- Security Concerns: While PWAs can be secure when implemented correctly, they may be more vulnerable to certain types of attacks, such as man-in-the-middle attacks, compared to native apps that are distributed through official app stores.
- Limited Ecosystem Integration: Native apps can integrate seamlessly with the device’s ecosystem, such as the sharing menu, app integrations, and system-level features. PWAs may have limitations in this regard.
- Limited Platform-Specific UI: Creating a consistent user interface across different platforms and devices can be more challenging with PWAs. Native apps offer more control over platform-specific design and interactions.
Mobile Websites: The Basics
Mobile websites are websites optimized for viewing on mobile devices, typically accessed through a web browser. While they serve a valuable purpose, they have limitations compared to apps and PWAs.
Advantages of Mobile Websites:
- Low Development and Maintenance Costs: Creating and updating a mobile website is often more cost-effective compared to building and maintaining apps.
- Accessibility: Mobile websites are universally accessible via web browsers, ensuring a broad reach.
Pitfalls of Mobile Sites:
Certainly, while mobile websites have their own advantages, they may not always be as good as mobile apps in certain situations. Here are some examples illustrating why mobile apps can be superior:
- Limited Offline Functionality: Mobile websites often require an internet connection to function properly. In contrast, mobile apps can offer features and content even when the device is offline. For example, a travel app can provide offline access to maps, itineraries, and travel guides, which can be crucial when users are in areas with poor connectivity.
- Slower Load Times: Mobile websites can be slower to load, especially on slow or unreliable internet connections. Mobile apps are optimized for speed and performance, resulting in quicker load times and a smoother user experience.
- Limited Access to Device Features: Mobile websites have limited access to a device’s hardware features. Mobile apps, on the other hand, can leverage device capabilities like the camera, GPS, accelerometer, and more. For instance, a fitness app can use the device’s sensors to track a user’s steps and offer real-time fitness data.
- Push Notifications: Mobile apps have the advantage of sending push notifications directly to users’ devices. This allows businesses to re-engage users, deliver updates, and promote new content or features. Push notifications can be highly effective for user retention and engagement, which mobile websites cannot replicate.
- Personalization: Mobile apps can offer a highly personalized experience by utilizing device-specific data and user preferences. For example, a music streaming app can create personalized playlists and recommendations based on a user’s listening history and preferences, fostering a deeper connection with the user.
- Enhanced Security: Mobile apps often have stronger security measures in place compared to mobile websites. Developers can implement encryption, secure authentication methods, and secure storage options to protect user data and transactions more effectively.
- Monetization Options: Apps provide a wider range of monetization options, including in-app purchases, subscriptions, and advertising. This flexibility allows businesses to generate revenue in various ways and tailor their strategies to their target audience.
- Improved User Engagement: Having an app installed on a user’s device often leads to higher user engagement and brand loyalty. Users are more likely to return to an app they have installed, resulting in increased usage and interactions, which may not be as consistent with mobile websites.
- Access to App Stores: Mobile apps are typically distributed through app stores like the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Being on these platforms provides apps with greater visibility and accessibility to a broader audience. Mobile websites lack this centralized distribution channel.
- Enhanced User Interface: Mobile apps can offer a more intuitive and interactive user interface compared to mobile websites. They can take advantage of native UI components and animations, providing a visually appealing and user-friendly experience.
Advantages of Mobile Apps:
1. Enhanced User Experience
Mobile apps prioritize user experience with a focus on sleek design and smooth interactions. They boast faster load times and provide a more immersive interface compared to mobile websites, resulting in an enhanced user experience.
2. Offline Access
Unlike mobile websites that rely on an internet connection, mobile apps can offer limited functionality and access to content even when offline. Bryj ensures that your app’s offline features are optimized, allowing users to engage with your content anytime, anywhere.
Mobile apps excel at personalization by leveraging device-specific data and user preferences. Bryj’s AI capabilities help tailor content and recommendations to individual users, boosting engagement and retention.
4. Push Notifications
Bryj’s mobile app solution includes push notification capabilities, enabling you to re-engage users, promote new features, and deliver timely updates or offers. This feature is instrumental in keeping your audience informed and engaged.
5. Access to Device Features
Mobile apps can harness a device’s hardware features, such as the camera, GPS, and sensors. Bryj empowers your app to utilize these features creatively, enabling innovative functionalities like augmented reality experiences and location-based services.
6. Improved Performance
Mobile apps are optimized for specific platforms, resulting in better performance and responsiveness. Bryj ensures that your app runs seamlessly on both iOS and Android, providing a top-tier user experience.
7. Offline Data Storage
Mobile apps can locally store data on a device, reducing the need for repeated downloads. Bryj helps you implement efficient data storage solutions, enhancing user access to content, particularly large media files.
8. Monetization Options
Apps offer diverse monetization options, including in-app purchases, subscriptions, and advertising. Bryj supports your revenue generation efforts by integrating these monetization methods seamlessly.
9. Enhanced Security
Mobile apps often boast stronger security measures than websites. Bryj implements robust encryption, authentication, and authorization mechanisms to safeguard user data and transactions, earning your users’ trust.
10. Brand Loyalty and Engagement
Having a mobile app installed on a user’s device fosters brand loyalty and increased engagement. Users are more likely to return to an app they have installed, leading to higher retention rates and brand recognition.
Key Differences in ROI:
Now, let’s explore the key differences in ROI between mobile apps, PWAs, and mobile websites, supported by statistics:
Engagement and User Retention
- According to Comscore, users spend 87% of their mobile time within apps, indicating significantly higher engagement compared to mobile websites and PWAs.
- The average mobile app retention rate after 90 days is around 20%, while for mobile websites, it’s only about 5%.
- Push notifications, a feature exclusive to apps, can boost user retention rates by up to 3x.
- People view 4.2x more products per session within apps, compared to mobile sites. Apps also push more people down the purchase funnel, with 3x higher conversion rates compared to mobile sites and even 1,5 times more conversions per session than via desktop.
- Apps typically have 2.5x higher conversion rates compared to mobile websites.
- Mobile websites have an average conversion rate of about 2%, whereas apps can reach conversion rates of 5% or more.
Load Speed and Performance
- Apps are faster and more responsive than mobile websites, reducing bounce rates. A Google study found that 53% of users abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
- Apps can function offline or with limited connectivity, ensuring users can access critical features even in areas with unreliable internet access.
- Apps use push notifications to engage and re-engage users directly, contributing to higher conversion rates and user retention.
- Apps offer various monetization options, such as in-app purchases, subscription models, and advertising, allowing businesses to generate revenue directly from the app.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
- App stores provide a platform for discoverability, enabling businesses to reach a wider audience through effective ASO strategies.
Mobile apps are the best option for businesses looking to maximize their return on investment (ROI), despite the benefits of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and mobile websites in the digital landscape. Mobile apps offer superior user experience, offline accessibility, push notifications, speed, security, monetization options, and app store optimization. All of these contribute significantly to boosting ROI.
Bryj Apps Deliver Maximum Business Success
Investing in a well-designed mobile app remains one of the most lucrative decisions a business can make as the world becomes increasingly mobile-centric. Bryj is the end-to-end, AI-powered solution you need to harness the full potential of your mobile apps. With Bryj, you can create highly personalized, feature-rich, and secure mobile experiences that captivate your audience and drive success. Whether you’re launching a new app or optimizing an existing one, Bryj empowers you to make the most of the mobile app advantage. Choose Bryj and elevate your digital presence to new heights. Contact our expert team today for more details!