Increased interaction with customers, increased loyalty, a means of mobile engagement, and an easier path to purchase are all typical benefits that firms hope to experience by building a mobile web page or a native mobile application. And while there some cases where they both end up providing similar results to businesses, they are distinctly different, and usually have distinctly different impacts.
Mobile web finds its strength in accessibility. Anybody with internet access can access it with relative ease from a smartphone. For consistently reaching new customers, it is a mobile strategy that proves hard to beat. Online ordering for restaurants is becoming a standard, and because a lot of businesses already have it, they find mobile web to be a low-risk and low-cost way of making their product easier to purchase in a way that allows them to keep up with an increasingly mobile world. Some businesses even leverage their mobile web sites to offer a mobile loyalty program to their customers. It is also no different from most low-risk strategies, in that it doesn’t make things fundamentally different to the point where it significantly alters the appeal of the product.
At least to some degree, most people can think of one restaurant in their town that had great food and a loyal following but went out of business because it was failing to make money. These are the companies need their loyal customers spending more, more “once in a while” customers turning into regulars, getting those regulars visiting more frequently and buying high profit-margin products while they are there. This is where mobile apps and their sophisticated loyalty programs coupled with an intuitive and easy to use mobile ordering platform are best.
Sending push notifications, taking advantage of geofencing, sending customized offers and notifications to specific demographics, scanning QR codes and barcodes, incorporating beacons and much more is all possible with a good native mobile app. Mobile apps offer intuitive ordering systems that are not only easier than mobile web, but even better than a traditional phone ordering system where customers call the location to place their order. Apps for restaurants allow customers to save credit cards, quickly reorder past orders or favorites, and easily customize their order with no worry of miscommunications over the phone. These are some of the reasons why native mobile apps are conducive to growing long-term brands and fundamentally changing the appeal of the businesses that use them.
In the end it boils down to what the company is striving to get out of their mobile strategy. Understanding that mobile web and mobile applications are similar on the surface but have very different long-term results is an important step while picking a mobile strategy. Email us or schedule a meeting to start a conversation about your mobile strategy today!