For a lot of us who take a look at our business while also wearing the consumer’s hat, it is obvious that mobile is killing it. Native apps - whether on iOS, Android, or any other platforms seem to be dominating user engagement metrics. Heck, we spend more time on apps when using mobile than opening a browser and explore content. Then, is it not decided that the web on mobile is on it’s path to a slow death? If it is the case, why should we even care about browsing our websites on mobile? Is it only a marginal use case, and only in cases where we don’t have a mobile app does it become a necessity? I’d urge you to weigh in on the following argument and reconsider your position on mobile web.
Some stats to start off:
Google says Chrome has 1 Billion active users monthly on mobile.
It means a Billion people out there take pains to open up their mobile browser at least once a month to go check out a website! Did I hear “Not bad”? Read on.
Comscore in its latest US Mobile App Report says the average American doesn’t download more than 2 Apps a month.
But there is a catch. Nearly half of smartphone users don’t download any app in a month. Are we looking at an app fatigue?
Another worrying set of stats from the same Comscore report - Smartphone users spend 45% of their app time on their #1 most used app, and 90% of their time on their top Seven apps. Ironically, the top Seven most used Apps on Smartphone are owned by Facebook and Google.
This could potentially mean people spend most of their time on these social apps and devote little time for our apps. Ones that cost us a bomb to build, and more than a bomb to market and get installs.
Enough stats. Do me a favor by pondering over one question.
Is it worth going the mobile app route?
Consider this. Everyone thought growth in mobile traffic, engagement, etc meant the death of web. On the contrary, mobile seems to be a closed club with fewer apps enjoying the majority of user’s time leaving little room for our business apps.
I believe mobile web has a great future, probably better one than mobile apps, and investing in it should help your business in higher engagement at lower costs.
If you have had any experience either with mobile apps or with mobile web, better still any stats comparing the two, please share them.