Mobile Applications & Mobile Internet — A Detailed Comparison

Mobile Applications & Mobile Internet — A Detailed Comparison

Mobile applications or the mobile web - which is better? It seems the answer is far from simple and that the two appear to be complementary to one another rather than mutually exclusive. A new study from Millward Brown, a market research organisation second only in size to Nielsen Company, has recently been published and offers a deeper insight into how and why people use mobile applications and the mobile web for different purposes.

The Millward Brown study is entitled ‘The New Mobile Mantra’ and, though it is not the first research into the comparison between mobile web and apps, is the most detailed and sought to reveal the psychology behind users’ mobile decisions. Carried out over the first nine months of 2015, the study utilised examinations of click-stream data along with figures from consumer surveys.

Facts and figures from The New Mobile Mantra include:

  • 61% of smartphone users access the mobile internet through a browser at least once each day

  • An average of 31 minutes altogether was spent using the mobile web

  • Over 50% of smartphone owners had between 40 and 70 apps installed on their device, though many people only used between four and six apps a day. This figure reflected an earlier finding from comScore that showed around 80% of app usage time on smartphones is spent using just three favourite mobile applications

  • Smartphone users did not hesitate to delete under-performing applications, citing a number of reasons including freeing up memory space, saving battery power, replacing with better alternatives, functional issues and amount of time spent using the app. Interestingly, both using the app too much and too little were cited as reasons for deleting - leading to the term ‘Goldilocks App’ for one that is just right

  • The mobile web is more likely to be used for industries where brand comparisons, reviews and product research is necessary while apps dominate within industries where customers have regular engagement with the company or brand

  • Consumers said that mobile applications provide greater convenience, easier access and specialised/­personalised content while the mobile web delivers freedom from memory usage, the ability to easily switch between brands and a familiar browsing experience similar to that of a desktop

This study shows that providing exactly the right features, in the right combination, to mobile customers is essential to ensure the continued success of your online business.

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