If you are concerning about this topic, I guess that you are considering between developing a Mobile Web and Mobile App for Magento to satisfy a great number of your mobile users.
On the one hand, the Mobile Web is designed specifically for the smaller screens and touch-screen capabilities of smartphones and tablets, and can be accessed using any mobile device’s web browser such as Chrome (on Android) and Safari (on iOS).
On the other hand, although the Mobile App also is designed to run on mobile devices, such as a smartphone or tablet, it is a type of application software that can be downloaded only from central download store such as Google Store and App Store.
Well, I understand why making the decision is hard since both of the Mobile Web and Mobile App for Magento have pros and cons.
And in today’s post, I’m going to analyze these options and finally help you to choose one to invest in.
But first, let’s see some facts.
1. The number of Mobile Web users outweigh the number of Mobile App for Magento users from 2014 to 2016
To begin with, it is true that the number of mobile users has seen a sharp rise in recent years, followed with the significant increase in the number of download mobile apps.
In general, a smartphone (16GB) will contain 6GB of the system and ready-installed apps, 6GB for media.
Therefore, the users will have empty 4GB, which is enough to add more 10-20 apps.
From the bar graph, we can see that the number of app visitors grew by 45% from 2014 to 2016. It’s a good sign for mobile app developers.
Nevertheless, app growth was just trivial when being compared with the drastic growth of mobile webs (increased by 82% in the same period).
Moreover, the number of mobile web users even doubled that of app users.
It eventually turns out to the fact that regardless of shopping on mobile devices or desktops, most of the customers prefer using Mobile Web to using Mobile App for Magento.
What is the reason for that?
From my perspective, I guess that there are 3 major reasons:
The first one is that almost buyers are “lazy”. They don’t want to spend time going to the app store, downloading and installing an app. Instead, opening the browsers and accessing the web instantly is definitely faster.
The second reason is that they might think using the mobile app is unnecessary, especially when they just want to buy a few items and don’t buy stuffs regularly at a certain shop.
The final reason is that the buyers might not know… the existence of the app. Since the app can be found only in app stores, it’s quite difficult for the store owners to promote it.
2. In terms of the Customer Engagement, the Mobile App for Magento wins the competition
It is obvious that the Mobile App for Magento beats the Mobile Web when it comes to the customer experience.
Compared to the Mobile Web, the Mobile App has extremely faster page load, full-screen mode and icon on the homescreen to encourage revisits. Especially, it allows the admin to send push notifications that might be news or promotions to the users. By this way, it would be much easier to approach the customers than the traditional email marketing.
On the contrary, though the developers try to create responsive website to nicely present on mobile, the mobile web’s functions are still very limited.
So, what is the solution when both mobile webs and mobile apps for Magento cannot fulfill our expectations?
One ideal solution is that we should apply modern web technologies to enhance experience on mobile webs so that it can create the same engagement with the mobile apps.
But is it possible?
If you have heard something called Progressive Web Application developed by Google, you might understand what I’m saying.
According to Google, the Progressive Web App is “a new way to deliver amazing user experiences on the web”.
More specifically, the Progressive Web Apps are regular websites or web pages but apply some modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users.
For example, by using the PWA technology, your customers can download can create a shortcut on their homescreen, not from any app store but from the browsers. As soon as they access your store via the browsers, they will be invited to get push notifications and to install the PWA. Since then, they will enjoy great app-like experience such as fast page load, full-screen mode, push notifications and offline functionality – visiting the store even when the network is absent.
Moreover, as each PWA will have a URL, we can easily share it everywhere to promote it, which we can do with the mobile apps.
You can find more information about this technology through these blog posts:
But here is the thing…
The PWA developed by Google is just a foundation. If you want to apply this technology for your Magento store, you have to develop it by yourself based on available materials.
You can choose a better way – installing the Magento Progressive Web App (PWA), developed by Tigren Solutions.
This is a free extension but can meet all of your expectations for a Google PWA. Download it here.
While the Mobile Web overwhelms the Mobile App for Magento in terms of the number of users, it is not able to give the customers a great experience and engagement like the mobile app.
Therefore, we will need Magento Progressive Web App – a modern technology combining the best of mobile webs and mobile apps and cover the gap between them. It still approaches the buyers via browsers but delivers interesting app-like experience.
Anyway, it’s up to you to go with Mobile Web, Mobile App or Magento Progressive Web App. Have a wise choice!