In apps versus mobile web, use insight to inform strategy

As the number of smartphone users increases so does the need to understand how consumers are using them to connect and buy from brands, particularly for those developing a mobile presence. 

Mindi Chahal

Research from OtherLevels, a mobile marketing and analytics platform, shows that consumers today prefer to use the mobile web to a mobile app in a study looking at 100 retailers, and suggests that shoppers are still catching up with what is available. 

Indeed apps are falling behind mobile websites in m-commerce, according to an ICM study of 1,300 consumers. Mobile websites are the most commonly used option for users for 12 of 13 retailers analysed in the research, including brands such as Amazon, eBay, Asos and John Lewis, among others. 

The insight is particularly important as the research also shows that about one-fifth of people are buying more often on their mobiles compared with a year ago.

However, this isn’t only due solely to consumer behaviour, as the mobile messaging study shows that retailers are not effectively nurturing their mobile users with relevant messaging through apps.    

The OtherLevels study reveals that 77 per cent of retailers now have a mobile app, but only two-thirds of those retailers request opt-in for consumers to receive push notifications.

However, it also shows that this is a growing area with mobile opt-in requests among 100 retailers growing 27 per cent over the course of a year from 2012 to 2013.

The statistics around usage provide an important view into what consumers are actually doing and what retailers need to do to ensure they are utilising their mobile apps or mobile websites according to actual behaviour.

Insight can form a warning to brands when looking at their digital strategy as consumer behaviour can steer what area it should be focusing on – launching an app might look great on paper but actually getting people to use it might not be as good in reality. 

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