In recent studies, “marketers have come to understand the unique role that both apps and mobile sites play in the customer journey”. Brands have realized that both experiences serve a unique and special purpose. Retail Apps and mobile sites share the same content and messaging “but do not always offer the same customer experience”. For marketers, the plan of action for developing and promoting these mobile platforms to consumers requires different approaches for each avenue.
Apps offer a sense of personalization that isn’t present on mobile sites. Following the initial download of an app, you are given the option to set up preferences so the app is tailored to fit your likes and needs. Apps can keep track of user engagement that can be useful for the brand to institute recommended updates. Apps also have the potential to enhance their brand experience by using the user’s location to alert them about promotions at stores nearby.
Mobile sites are a “direct source” allowing consumers to reach a mobile site at any time. Mobile sites are preferred for expanding a search across different sources. Since mobile sites are so popular, the expectations are often higher. Consumers want sites that load quickly, that are easy to navigate, and that possess the information they are looking
As a college-aged consumer, when it comes to placing orders on my phone, I prefer apps over mobile sites. Mobile sites often are harder to navigate and are more confusing. Apps are straightforward and alert you of promotions and events that are happening in the stores closest to you. Most apps allow you to program your card making the checkout process faster. Apps are quicker, easier and, overall, a better option for me over mobile sites.