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Comparative Analysis of Native Apps Vs Web Apps for Mobile Commerce

Posted on the 08 August 2012 by Finoit Labs

Mobile commerce is growing. Its numbers might still not compare with ecommerce but, according to eMarketer,  it has grown 91.4% in 2011, reaching $6.7 billion, and in 2012 is expected to grow 73.1% to a total of $11.6 billion.

In another prediction, Cisco says that by the end of this year there could be more smartphones than people on the planet and that by 2016 there will be 10 billion mobile devices in the hands of 7 billion human beings, meaning 1.4 per capita.

Cisco also says global mobile traffic is expected to reach 10.8 exabytes per month in 2016, which is a 1800% growth when compared to the 0.6 exabytes per month registered in 2011.

Comparative analysis of Native apps vs Web apps for mobile commerce

According to another study by ROI Research Inc., 49% of the users who accessed mobile web at least once a week during the last six months have made purchases through their mobile devices.

What does this all mean? It simply means that smartphones are the new pc and that mobile commerce can in the near future surpass ecommerce. This also means that merchants that are lacking a mobile commerce strategy will not be able to afford not having one.

Native apps vs Web apps

Native apps versus Web apps is a recent discussion that is primarily concerned on how companies approach and interact with mobile users.

While companies with a larger budget are now experimenting with both and with hybrid approaches to deliver better results, many smaller and medium enterprises still don’t know which road to take and are now losing their fair share of a mobile market.

According to the 2010 comScore MobiLens report almost the double of users have accessed online retail via web than those that used a native app. Still, marketers have said that native apps generate more usage volume. As it shows a Global Intelligence Alliance survey, 30% of the respondents have stated that the native app generates more than the double usage volume than the web app.

Comparative analysis of Native apps vs Web apps for mobile commerce

The same survey also shows that marketers have said that native apps offer better user engagement, with 30% stating that native app sessions are, at least, twice as long as web apps sessions.

According to David Eads, Kony Solutions has seen higher conversion rates (+30%) for native iPhone apps than for  web apps.

The differences

One of the big differences between web apps and native apps is that web apps are not constrained to a specific mobile platform. Different platforms can access the web app and run it, all they need is an internet connection.

On the other hand native apps can deliver a faster and richer experience for its users. Because it is created with a  specific platform in mind, native apps can use the features of the platform to immerse the user, such as augmented reality using the smartphone’s camera and geolocation.

The answer

Companies looking forward to make the right choice should know their customers and their users. What kind of mobile equipment do they use? Are they using smartphones or regular mobile phones? Are they using iPhones, Android, Blackberry? Depending on the answer is the right approach to an effective mobile commerce strategy.

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