Apps or websites? Apps turn 10 years old in 2018, yet the heated debate continues.

From audience reach to customer satisfaction, businesses and tech specialists have mulled over the advantages of apps over websites and vice versa.

Arguments in favour of websites won when it came to speed of upgrading, shareability and findability. In terms of interactivity, personalisation, offline accessibility and functionality, apps were the clear winner.

Over the years, technologies have changed along with consumer preferences and behaviour. So there are now new arguments for both technologies.

To bring in a new factor to the equation, let’s talk about the latest app usage.

Figures in Australia and the Global Arena

The global usage rate of apps has reached astounding heights. In 2017, the total mobile app downloads amounted to 197 billion. That makes an almost 50 million jump from the previous year’s total number of downloads reaching 149 billion. Every day, consumers spend 3 hours in apps and use around 40 apps per month.

In Australia, consumers spend a whopping 85 percent of mobile device usage in-app and use an average of 36 apps per month. In a month, consumers spend almost 33 hours using smartphone apps and only spend four hours on web browsers.

According to Deloitte’s 2017 Mobile Consumer Survey, consumers prefer apps for entertainment, such as social networking, playing games, streaming videos and navigation. Australians also prefer apps for banking, searching for real estate, finding local businesses, and comparing products and prices when shopping.

What’s driving this phenomenon? Artyom Dogtiev of Business of Apps believes that the regular hardware updates of mobile devices and the introduction of new features are fuelling the exponential growth of mobile app downloads. Dogtiev adds that it’s all about communication and entertainment, things that help people cope with stress.

As many consumers also use apps for banking, finding businesses, and shopping, the convenience provided by apps is also considered as a factor to the app boom.

So how can businesses tap into the app-consuming Aussies?

In Google and Ipsos’ research, results revealed there are two crucial points in developing an effective mobile app-marketing strategy: boosting awareness of apps and keeping the audience engaged.

In boosting awareness, the researchers found that apart from app stores, one out of four people found apps through search engines and half of the people surveyed found apps through ads. Google and Ipsos recommend increasing visibility by using mobile app install campaigns and extending the campaign across ad formats such as displays and videos.

As for keeping customers engaged, the researchers emphasise the importance of proving the value of an app. How? Through the improvement of the app’s utility and features, as well as by incentivising users.

Thirty percent of the respondents stated that they’d use an app again if they got a discount on a purchase. Meanwhile, nearly 25% said they would use an app again if they received bonuses or exclusive perks.

Businesses can leverage these valuable insights and realign their efforts to offer something that fulfils consumer demands.

So, should all businesses have apps?

The answer depends on the nature of the business, its products and services, and the preference and behaviour of its consumers. Budget and other factors also come into play when determining whether an app can benefit the business and is aligned with its goals. You can also consider developing your site first, then proceed to app development, or use a hybrid or focus on an app alone.

If you need help to decide, our team of specialists can give you advice on the best tech for your current operations.

Dedicated to helping Australia’s businesses, we provide free consultations. Talk to us today.

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