Recent data states that nearly 90% of smartphone users' time is spent in apps; however, many surveys have shown that users actually prefer mobile websites to mobile apps when using the mobile internet.
What's the Difference Between a Mobile Website and a Mobile App?
A mobile website is just that: a website that is accessed over the internet (or over a 3G or 4G network) and is sized to your device. A mobile app is also designed to fit a much smaller screen (such as the screen of a smartphone or tablet) but incorporates touch-screen technology so that playing games and other functions are more fun.
Data Shows that More Than Half of Smartphone Users Choose Mobile Websites
According to a survey by the Local Search Association, more than half of smartphone users will use a mobile website instead of a mobile app, and that number increases from 64% to a whopping 78% when consumers use a tablet.
Why Do So Many Smartphone Users Choose Mobile Websites?
Apps are supposed to make the digital experience more user friendly. So, why the marked preference for mobile websites? According to a recent study, those who prefer the mobile web experience over mobile apps site some financial reasons: the mobile web is free, whereas apps often cost money. Many feel that using a browser is easier and more user friendly than clicking on apps. Some don't have enough free space to download apps, while others weren't sure how to download them properly. Screen size was an important point in this discussion, as well. Also, according to the recent 2015 Mobile App Survey Report, almost half of consumers stated that they would be less likely to reuse a mobile app after having an unsatisfying mobile app experience.
In other words, consumers seem to feel that in many cases, using a free mobile website that won't crash is preferable when compared to the alternative of apps that cost money, provide the exact same information as a mobile website and may crash or give the consumer other technological issues. However, they still continue to spend 90% of their smartphone time in mobile apps.