There’s no doubt that we are living in a ‘mobile era’. More people are using mobile devices such as tablets and phones than ever before, and across the world mobile devices are being used to browse the internet more frequently than desktop computers. Businesses who are becoming aware of this trend are introducing responsive design and mobile sites to meet the mobile browsing demand, but when should a business create a mobile app to really target mobile users? Here we look at 6 functions a mobile application does that a mobile site can’t and why you should consider an app for your business.

Apps Can Customize Your User’s Experience

Mobile sites look and function the same for all users, and have limited options for customization, whereas mobile app design has a greater opportunity for providing users with a personal and unique experience. Mobile apps can be customized as soon as they start to be used, with an individual login and numerous options for each user. Mobile applications can also track user engagement and help to deliver tailored options and recommendations to the user. From a business sense, personalization improves the conversion rate of apps, making them the better choice to reach your audience and boost business.

Direct Marketing For Your Users

Because apps are integrated as part of the user’s device, apps can send updates, notifications and messages to the users device to remind them to engage with the app or to offer special promotions or offers. Whereas businesses may have to otherwise rely on email campaigns to communicate with customers, which can often feel intrusive, mobile app notifications can be customized by your users, offering a much more acceptable and welcome way to stay in touch with your users.

Apps Make Use of Device Features

Because mobile applications are integrated with the mobile device, they can make use of elements of the device such as the camera, contact list, GPS, phone, accelerometer and compass. These functionalities can be integrated into the app design to make the app more useful, appealing and fun to use, boosting user experience and engagement.

Apps Offer Complete Design Freedom

Because mobile website design is limited by the constraints of the browser, mobile application design is more varied and flexible. While mobile websites must be navigated using browser features and simple push buttons to function, mobile apps can incorporate a range of different gestures like tap, swipe, drag, pinch or hold.

Apps Can Work Offline

One of the greatest advantages and most essential differences between mobile sites and mobile applications is the ability to work offline and save data from session to session. This offers users a much greater variety of functions and capabilities with or without Internet connection.

Apps Work Faster Than Mobile Web

Ultimately, a well-designed mobile application can function much faster and more efficiently than a mobile website, because much of the data for a mobile app is locally stored, whereas a mobile site may need to use web servers to retrieve information. Apps can also save users preferences and information so they can access the data and functions they require more quickly and effectively.

Mobile apps can be an effective and versatile tool for many businesses, and discussing the options for mobile app design with a professional could help provide the ideal mobile solution for your business and your customers.